City and seaport (pop., 2000: 193,556), western Washington, U.S. Located on Puget Sound, Tacoma was settled in 1864 and grew to become a lumbering and port city. Docks and wharves line its waterfront. A boat-building centre, the city also has smelters, foundries, and electrochemical plants. It is a gateway to Mount Rainier National Park and is connected by bridge to the Olympic Peninsula recreation areas. It is the seat of the University of Puget Sound (1888) and Pacific Lutheran University (1890).