- 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)
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.