chau·​tau·​qua shə-ˈtȯ-kwə How to pronounce chautauqua (audio)
often capitalized
: any of various traveling shows and local assemblies that flourished in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, that provided popular education combined with entertainment in the form of lectures, concerts, and plays, and that were modeled after activities at the Chautauqua Institution of western New York

Examples of chautauqua in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to some historians, the movement peaked around 1915, when 12,000 communities had hosted a chautauqua. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chautauqua.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Chautauqua Lake

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chautauqua was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near chautauqua




Cite this Entry

“Chautauqua.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Chau·​tau·​qua shə-ˈtȯ-kwə How to pronounce Chautauqua (audio)
lake 18 miles (29 kilometers) long in southwestern New York

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