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[mes-uh-puh-tey-mee-uh] /ˌmɛs ə pəˈteɪ mi ə/
an ancient region in W Asia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers: now part of Iraq.
Related forms
Mesopotamian, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Mesopotamia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In most parts of Mesopotamia it was understood as readily as the native tongue.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • It is the old land of mystery and wonder which the Greeks called Mesopotamia.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • Mesopotamia, therefore, meant a stretch of land "between the rivers."

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • It is true, Mesopotamia was much smaller than our own country.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • The flames of war were sweeping across Mesopotamia and Arabia.

British Dictionary definitions for Mesopotamia


a region of SW Asia between the lower and middle reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers: site of several ancient civilizations
Word Origin
Latin from Greek mesopotamia (khora) (the land) between rivers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Mesopotamia

ancient name for the land that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (in modern Iraq), from Greek mesopotamia (khora), literally "a country between two rivers," from fem. of mesopotamos, from mesos "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + potamos "river" (see potamo-).

In 19c. the word sometimes was used in the sense of "anything which gives irrational or inexplicable comfort to the hearer," based on the story of the old woman who told her pastor that she "found great support in that comfortable word Mesopotamia" ["Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable," 1870]. The place was called Mespot (1917) by British soldiers serving there in World War I. Related: Mesopotamian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Mesopotamia in Culture
Mesopotamia [(mes-uh-puh-tay-mee-uh)]

A region of western Asia, in what is now Iraq, known as the “cradle of civilization.” Western writing first developed there, done with sticks on clay tablets. Agricultural organization on a large scale also began in Mesopotamia, along with work in bronze and iron (see Bronze Age and Iron Age). Governmental systems in the region were especially advanced (see Babylon and Hammurabi). A number of peoples lived in Mesopotamia, including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Hittites, and Assyrians.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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