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[pen-suh l-veyn-yuh, -vey-nee-uh] /ˌpɛn səlˈveɪn yə, -ˈveɪ ni ə/
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Pennsylvania
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I got six stores in the northern-tier counties of Pennsylvania.

    Object: matrimony Montague Glass
  • Daniel Boone was a boy who lived on the edge of the deep woods in Pennsylvania.

    Daniel Boone Katharine E. Wilkie
  • Suppose a citizen of New York moves to Pennsylvania and establishes a residence there.

    Government in the United States James Wilford Garner
  • There were a few houses there already, but it was much wilder than in Pennsylvania.

    Daniel Boone Katharine E. Wilkie
  • Nearly half of the inhabitants were in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

    The Colonization of North America Herbert Eugene Bolton
British Dictionary definitions for Pennsylvania


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
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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
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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.
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