a state in the W United States, on the Pacific coast. 158,693 sq. mi. (411,015 sq. km).
Capital: Sacramento.
Abbreviation: CA (for use with zip code), Cal., Calif.
Gulf of, an arm of the Pacific Ocean, extending NW between the coast of W Mexico and the peninsula of Baja California. About 750 miles (1207 km) long; 62,600 sq. mi. (162,100 sq. km).
Contemporary Examples

Arnold, Out Like a Lion Joe Mathews December 31, 2010
Arguments Against the Komen Decision to Defund Planned Parenthood February 3, 2012
The West Coast Gossip Girl Isabel Kaplan June 30, 2009
‘Mad Men’ Creator Matthew Weiner on the Season Finale Jace Lacob June 23, 2013
Pushing for Justice at Walmart Sally Kohn December 15, 2013

Historical Examples

The Flag of Distress Mayne Reid
Her Father’s Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
The Letters of Ambrose Bierce Ambrose Bierce
The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
Ancestors Gertrude Atherton

a state on the W coast of the US: the third largest state in area and the largest in population; consists of a narrow, warm coastal plain rising to the Coast Range, deserts in the south, the fertile central valleys of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada in the east; major industries include the growing of citrus fruits and grapes, fishing, oil production, electronics, information technology, and films. Capital: Sacramento. Pop: 35 484 453 (2003 est). Area: 411 015 sq km (158 693 sq miles) Abbreviation Cal., Calif., (with zip code) CA
Gulf of California, an arm of the Pacific Ocean, between Sonora and Lower California

Amadis de Gaula … set a fashion: all later Spanish writers of books of chivalry adopted the machinery of Amadis de Gaula. Later knights were not less brave (they could not be braver than) Amadis; heroines were not less lovely (they could not be lovelier) than Oriana; there was nothing for it but to make the dragons more appalling, the giants larger, the wizards craftier, the magic castles more inaccessible, the enchanted lakes deeper. Subsequent books of chivalry are simple variants of the types in Amadis de Gaula: Cervantes made his barber describe it as ‘the best of all books of this kind.’ This verdict is essentially just. Amadis de Gaula was read everywhere, especially in the French version of Herberay des Essarts. It was done into Hebrew during the sixteenth century, and attracted readers as different as St Ignatius of Loyola and Henry of Navarre. Its vogue perhaps somewhat exceeded its merit, but its merits are not inconsiderable. [James Fitzmaurice-Kelly, “Spanish Literature,” 1922 edition]

Where Montalvo got the name and what it means, if anything, is a mystery. Californian is attested from 1785. The element Californium (1950) was named in reference to University of California, where it was discovered.

Note: During the California gold rush tens of thousands of people poured into California in search of gold. It is sometimes called the “Golden State.” (See forty-niners.)

Note: California is the most populous state. It is known for its earthquakes, high-tech industries (see Silicon Valley), and agriculture.

Note: The state is famous for all the fads and ideas that originate there, many of which are considered strange or eccentric.


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    Pacific barracuda. a small, slender barracuda, Sphyraena argentea, of coastal seas from Alaska to Baja California, valued as a food fish.

  • California-blanket

    california blanket

  • California-bluebell

    either of two plants, Phacelia campanularia or P. minor, of southern California, having ovate leaves and bell-shaped blue or purple flowers. a plant, Campanula prenanthoides, of California and Oregon, having clusters of pale-blue flowers.

  • California-condor

    See under condor (def 1). either of two large, New World vultures of the family Cathartidae, Gymnogyps californianus (California condor) or Vultur gryphus (Andean condor) the largest flying birds in the Western Hemisphere: the California condor is almost extinct; the Andean condor is greatly reduced in number and rare in many areas. a former coin […]

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