- state of the SW U.S., on the Pacific coast: admitted 1850: 155,959 sq mi (403,933 sq km); cap. Sacramento: abbrev. CA, Cal, or Calif
- arm of the Pacific, between Baja California and the Mexican mainland
Origin of CaliforniaSp, origin, originally name of a fabled island
Abbr. CA or Cal. or Calif.
A state of the western United States on the Pacific Ocean. It was admitted as the 31st state in 1850. The area was colonized by the Spanish and formally ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848). California is often called the Golden State because of its sunny climate and the discovery of gold during its pioneering days. Sacramento is the capital and Los Angeles the largest city.