• synonyms


  1. a Siouan language of North and South Carolina.
  2. a river flowing from W North Carolina into South Carolina, where it becomes the Wateree River.Compare Wateree.
  3. Horticulture.
    1. a reddish variety of grape.
    2. the vine bearing this fruit, grown in the eastern U.S.
  4. a light, dry, white wine made from this grape.
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Origin of Catawba

1710–20, Americanism; apparently ultimately < Catawba (yį́) kátapu a village name, literally, (people of) the fork; perhaps via Shawnee kata·pa
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for catawba


  1. plural -ba or -bas a member of a North American Indian people, formerly of South Carolina, now almost extinct
  2. their language, belonging to the Siouan family
  3. a cultivated variety of red North American grape, widely grown in the eastern US
  4. the wine made from these grapes
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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

Word Origin and History for catawba



type of American grape, 1857, the name is that of a river in South Carolina, U.S., where the grape was found. The river is named for the Katahba Indian group and language (Siouan), from katapu "fork of a stream," itself a Muskogean loan-word.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper