- river flowing from SW Va. southeast through NE N.C. into Albemarle Sound: c. 380 mi (612 km)
- city in SW Va., on this river: pop. 95,000
- island off the coast of N.C.: site of abortive English colony (1585-87)
Origin of Roanoke; from Carolina Algonquian: meaning unknown
An independent city of southwest Virginia west-southwest of Richmond on the Roanoke River. Once known as Big Lick after a nearby salt lick, it was renamed with the coming of the railroad in 1881.
From Powhatan rawrenock (â€œthings rubbed smooth by handâ€).