Definition of Mississippi
1a major river of North America, which rises in Minnesota near the Canadian border and flows south to a delta on the Gulf of Mexico. With its chief tributary, the Missouri, it is 5,970 km (3,710 miles) long. 2a state of the southern US, on the Gulf of Mexico, bounded to the west by the lower Mississippi River; population 2,938,618 (est. 2008); capital, Jackson. A French colony in the first half of the 18th century, it was ceded to Britain in 1763 and to the US in 1783, becoming the 20th state in 1817.