Meridian (mərĭdˈēən) [key], city (1990 pop. 41,036), seat of Lauderdale co., E Miss., near the Ala. line; settled 1831, inc. 1860. It is an important rail and highway point and the trade and shipping center for a farm, livestock, and timber area. There is also diverse manufacturing. In the Civil War, Meridian was the temporary capital of Mississippi (1863); it was destroyed by General Sherman in Feb., 1864. Meridian Naval Air Station is to the north. Nearby Okatibbee Reservoir offers recreational activities.