Wausau (pronounced /wɔːsɔː/, US dict: wô′·sô) is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city. The city is adjacent to the town of Wausau.
According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people. It is the core city of the Wausau Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes all of Marathon County and had a population of 125,834 at the 2000 census. It is the 297th largest MSA in the United States. Besides Wausau, other significant communities in the metropolitan area include Mosinee, Schofield, Rothschild, Weston, Kronenwetter, Brokaw, and the town of Rib Mountain.
The Wisconsin River is what first drew settlers to the area during the mid-19th century, which was known as "Big Bull Flats" or "Big Bull Falls" by the original French explorers. The long rapids created many bubbles (bulle, in French). A treaty with the Chippewa Indians in 1836 transferred the land in the area to federal ownership. Wausau means "a faraway place" or "a place which can be seen from far away" in the Ojibwe language.