follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

Pennsylvania

[pen-suh l-veyn-yuh, -vey-nee-uh] /ˌpɛn səlˈveɪn yə, -ˈveɪ ni ə/
noun
1.
a state in the E United States. 45,333 sq. mi. (117,410 sq. km).
Capital: Harrisburg.
Abbreviation: PA (for use with zip code), Pa., Penn., Penna.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

/ˌpɛnsɪlˈveɪnɪə/
noun
1.
a state of the northeastern US: almost wholly in the Appalachians, with the Allegheny Plateau to the west and a plain in the southeast; the second most important US state for manufacturing. Capital: Harrisburg. Pop: 12 365 455 (2003 est). Area: 116 462 sq km (44 956 sq miles) Abbreviation Pa, Penn, Penna, (with zip code) PA
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for Pennsylvania

American colony, later U.S. state, 1681, literally "Penn's Woods," a hybrid formed from the surname Penn (Welsh, literally "head") + Latin sylvania (see sylvan). Not named for William Penn, the proprietor, but, on suggestion of Charles II, for Penn's late father, Admiral William Penn (1621-1670), who had lent the king the money that was repaid to the son in the form of land for a Quaker settlement in America. The story goes that the younger Penn wanted to call it New Wales, but the king's secretary, a Welshman of orthodox religion, wouldn't hear of it. Pennsylvania Dutch is attested from 1824.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Pennsylvania in Culture

Pennsylvania definition


State in the northeastern United States bordered by Lake Erie and New York to the north; New Jersey to the east; Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia to the south; and Ohio to the west. Its capital is Harrisburg, and its largest city is Philadelphia.

Note: One of the thirteen colonies.
Note: Named after the father of William Penn, a devout Quaker, who was granted proprietary rights by the king of England to almost the whole of what is now Pennsylvania in the late seventeenth century.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for Pennsylvania

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for Pennsylvania

0
25
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with Pennsylvania