Part of speech: noun
Origin: Iroquoian, late 19th century
(North American) An institution that provided popular adult education courses and entertainment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Examples of Chautauqua in a sentence
"Elena wanted to visit a chautauqua community during her vacation."
"Leilani was instrumental in establishing her community’s first chautauqua."
Popularity Over Time
This word stems from the New York town of the same name, where an annual Methodist summer colony featured lectures. The name originates from “ja'dahgweh,” a Seneca (Iroquoian) name, possibly meaning "one has taken out fish there." An alternative suggested meaning is "raised body."
Did you Know?
The Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly was organized at a campsite on the shores of New York’s Chautauqua Lake in 1874. It started as an experiment to provide education in a nontraditional format. For instance, The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle was structured as a four-year correspondence course that provided the essential knowledge and skills of a college education to those who couldn’t afford the standard college experience. Today, the Chautauqua Institution offers a variety of lecture series, artistic resident programs, and more during the summer.