- a state in the S United States. 47,716 sq. mi. (123,585 sq. km). Capital: Jackson. Abbreviation: MS (for use with zip code), Miss.
- a river flowing S from N Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico: the principal river of the U.S. 2470 miles (3975 km) long; from the headwaters of the Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico 3988 miles (6418 km) long.
- a state of the southeastern US, on the Gulf of Mexico: consists of a largely forested undulating plain, with swampy regions in the northwest and on the coast, the Mississippi River forming the W border; cotton, rice, and oil. Capital: Jackson. Pop: 2 881 281 (2003 est). Area: 122 496 sq km (47 296 sq miles)Abbreviation: Miss, (with zip code) MS
- a river in the central US, rising in NW Minnesota and flowing generally south to the Gulf of Mexico through several mouths, known as the Passes: the second longest river in North America (after its tributary, the Missouri), with the third largest drainage basin in the world (after the Amazon and the Congo). Length: 3780 km (2348 miles)
Word Origin and History for mississippi river
originally as the name of the river, from French, from Algonquian (French missionaries first penetrated the river valley in its upper reaches), literally "big river;" cf. Ojibwa mshi- "big," ziibi "river." Organized as a U.S. territory 1798; admitted as a state 1817. Related: Mississippian.