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Des Moines

[duh moin]
noun
  1. a city in and the capital of Iowa, in the central part, on the Des Moines River.
  2. a river flowing SE from SW Minnesota through Iowa to the Mississippi River. About 530 miles (850 km) long.
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Related formsDes Moines·i·an [duh moi-nee-uh n] /də ˈmɔɪ ni ən/, noun

Iowa

[ahy-uh-wuh; sometimes ahy-uh-wey]
noun, plural I·o·was, (especially collectively) I·o·wa for 3.
  1. a state in the central United States: a part of the Midwest. 56,290 sq. mi. (145,790 sq. km). Capital: Des Moines. Abbreviation: IA (approved esp. for use with zip code), Ia., Io.
  2. a river flowing SE from N Iowa to the Mississippi River. 291 miles (470 km) long.
  3. a member of an American Indian people originally of Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota but now of Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas.
  4. the Siouan language spoken by the Iowa Indians.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for des moines

Des Moines

noun
  1. a city in S central Iowa: state capital. Pop: 196 093 (2003 est)
  2. a river in the N central US, rising in SW Minnesota and flowing southeast to join the Mississippi. Length: 861 km (535 miles)
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Iowa

noun
  1. a state of the N central US, in the Midwest: consists of rolling plains crossed by many rivers, with the Missouri forming the western border and the Mississippi the eastern. Capital: Des Moines. Pop: 2 944 062 (2003 est). Area: 144 887 sq km (55 941 sq miles)Abbreviation: Ia., (with zip code) IA
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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 des moines

Iowa

organized as a U.S. territory 1838; admitted as a state 1846, ultimately from the name of the native people, of the Chiwere branch of the Aiouan family; said to be from Dakota ayuxba "sleepy ones."

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Des Moines

city in Iowa, U.S., named for French Rivière des Moines, the river that flows past it, which traditionally is derived from French des moines "of the monks," in reference to missionaries, but this probably is a fur trappers' folk-etymologizing of a name of the native people who lived there.

The place appears in a 1673 text as Moinguena, and historians believe this represents Miami-Illinois mooyiinkweena, literally "shitface," from mooy "excrement" + iinkwee "face;" a name given by the Peoria Indians (whose name has itself become a sort of insult) to their western neighbors. It is not unusual for Indian peoples to have hostile or derogatory names for others, but this seems an extreme case.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

des moines in Culture

Des Moines

[(duh-moyn)]

Capital of Iowa and largest city in the state.

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Iowa

State in the midwestern United States bordered by Minnesota to the north, Wisconsin and Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, and Nebraska and South Dakota to the west. Its capital and largest city is Des Moines.

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