[ ot-uh-wuh ]

noun,plural Ot·ta·was, (especially collectively) Ot·ta·wa for 5.
  1. a city in and the capital of Canada, in southeastern Ontario.

  2. a river in southeastern Canada, flowing southeast along the boundary between Ontario and Quebec into the St. Lawrence River at Montreal. 685 miles (1,105 kilometers) long.

  1. a city in northeastern Illinois, southwest of Chicago.

  2. a town in eastern Kansas.

  3. Also called Od·a·wa [od-uh-wuh] /ˈɒd ə wə/ . a member of a tribe of Algonquian people of Canada, forced into the Lake Superior and Lake Michigan regions by the Iroquois confederacy.

  4. Also called Od·a·wa . the Ojibwe language as used by the Ottawa.

Origin of Ottawa

First recorded in 1660–70; from French Outaouan, or directly from Ojibwe Ota·wa· “traders”

Words Nearby Ottawa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Ottawa in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Ottawa


/ (ˈɒtəwə) /

  1. the capital of Canada, in E Ontario on the Ottawa River: name changed from Bytown to Ottawa in 1854. Pop: 774 072 (2001)

  2. a river in central Canada, rising in W Quebec and flowing west, then southeast to join the St Lawrence River as its chief tributary at Montreal; forms the border between Quebec and Ontario for most of its length. Length: 1120 km (696 miles)

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

Cultural definitions for Ottawa


Capital of Canada, located in southeastern Ontario across the Ottawa River from Quebec.

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.