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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • An independent city of eastern Missouri on the Mississippi River just south of its confluence with the Missouri River. Settled by the French as a trading post in 1763-1764, it passed to Spain (1770), to France again (1800), and to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase (1803). The city has long been a major river port, railroad hub, and industrial center. It is the largest city in the state. Population: 347,000.

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