noun, often capitalized
chau·​tau·​qua | \ shə-ˈtȯ-kwə How to pronounce chautauqua (audio) \

Definition of chautauqua

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


geographical name
Chau·​tau·​qua | \ shə-ˈtȯ-kwə How to pronounce Chautauqua (audio) \

Definition of Chautauqua (Entry 2 of 2)

lake 18 miles (29 kilometers) long in southwestern New York

First Known Use of chautauqua


1873, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chautauqua


Chautauqua Lake

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The first known use of chautauqua was in 1873

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Cite this Entry

“Chautauqua.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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