Mississippi River definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The chief river of the United States, rising in the lake region of northern Minnesota and flowing about 3,781 km (2,350 mi) generally southward to enter the Gulf of Mexico through a huge delta in southeast Louisiana. Probably discovered by Hernando de Soto in 1541, it was explored by Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet in 1673. La Salle claimed the entire region for France after he descended to the river's mouth in 1682.