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[pen-suh l-veyn-yuh n, -vey-nee-uh n] /ˌpɛn səlˈveɪn yən, -ˈveɪ ni ən/
of or relating to the state of Pennsylvania.
Geology. noting or pertaining to a period of the Paleozoic Era, occurring from about 310 to 280 million years ago and characterized by warm climates, swampy land areas, and the development of insects and reptiles: sometimes considered as an epoch of the Carboniferous Period.
a native or inhabitant of Pennsylvania.
Geology. the Pennsylvanian Period or System.
Origin of Pennsylvanian
First recorded in 1675-85; Pennsylvani(a) + -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Pennsylvanian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Alaskan coals range in age from Pennsylvanian to Tertiary, and in kind from anthracite to lignite.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • Practically the Pennsylvanian forgot his prejudices when he allied his interests.

  • This is the difference between a Pennsylvanian and a Yankee.

    Oak Openings James Fenimore Cooper
  • The Pennsylvanian stood six feet seven inches in his stockings.

    Lincoln's Yarns and Stories Alexander K. McClure
  • Therefore a Pennsylvanian was a much better representative than a Louisianian.

  • All honor to this chivalrous and gallant Pennsylvanian, for his courtesy and humanity.

    Across America James F. Rusling
British Dictionary definitions for Pennsylvanian


of the state of Pennsylvania
(in North America) of, denoting, or formed in the upper of two divisions of the Carboniferous period, which lasted 30 million years, during which coal measures were formed See also Mississippian (sense 2)
an inhabitant or native of the state of Pennsylvania
the Pennsylvanian, the Pennsylvanian period or rock system, equivalent to the Upper Carboniferous of Europe
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 Pennsylvanian

1698, from Pennsylvania + -an. In reference to a geological system, attested from 1891. As a noun meaning "a person of Pennsylvania," by 1685.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Pennsylvanian in Science
The sixth period of the Paleozoic Era, from about 320 to 286 million years ago. Rock deposits from this period of time alternate between being marine and terrestrial in origin, and are rich in coal. Reptiles first appeared in the Pennsylvanian Period. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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