Chautauqua is a town in Chautauqua County, New York, U.S. . The population was 4,666 at the 2000 census. The town is named after Chautauqua Lake. The traditional meaning remains 'bag tied in the middle'. The suggested meanings of this Seneca word has become numerous: the place where one is lost; the place of easy death; fish taken out; foggy place; high up; two moccasins fastened together; and a bag tied in the middle. The town of Chautauqua is in the western part of the county on the northwestern end of Chautauqua Lake. It is northwest of Jamestown. Chautauqua is famous as the home of the Chautauqua Institution, the birthplace in 1874 of the Chautauqua Movement of educational and cultural centers.