[ 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 formsMes·o·po·ta·mi·an, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mesopotamian

British Dictionary definitions for mesopotamian (1 of 2)


/ (ˌmɛsəpəˈteɪmɪən) /


of or relating to Mesopotamia, a region of SW Asia, or its inhabitants


a native or inhabitant of Mesopotamia

British Dictionary definitions for mesopotamian (2 of 2)


/ (ˌmɛsəpəˈteɪmɪə) /


a region of SW Asia between the lower and middle reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers: site of several ancient civilizations

Word Origin for Mesopotamia

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

Word Origin and History for mesopotamian


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

Culture definitions for mesopotamian


[ (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 (see also 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.