Paducah () is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States. The largest city in the Jackson Purchase region, it is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio rivers, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri, to the northwest and Nashville, Tennessee, to the southeast. The population was 24,865 in 2019, down slightly from 25,024 during the 2010 U.S. Census. Twenty blocks of the city's downtown have been designated as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Paducah is the hub of its micropolitan area, which includes McCracken, Ballard and Livingston counties in Kentucky and Massac County in Illinois.
Paducah was first settled as "Pekin" around 1821 by European Americans James and William Pore. The town was laid out by explorer and surveyor William Clark in 1827 and renamed Paducah.
Although local lore long connected this name to an eponymous Chickasaw chief "Paduke" and his band of "Paducahs", authorities on the Chickasaw have since said that there was never any chief or tribe of that name, or anything like it. The Chickasaw language does not have related words.