noun (1), often capitalized
be·​guine | \ ˈbā-ˌgēn How to pronounce beguine (audio) , ˌbā-ˈgēn How to pronounce beguine (audio) \

Definition of beguine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a member of one of various ascetic and philanthropic communities of women not under vows founded chiefly in the Netherlands in the 13th century


noun (2)
be·​guine | \ bi-ˈgēn How to pronounce beguine (audio) \

Definition of beguine (Entry 2 of 2)

: a vigorous popular dance of the islands of Saint Lucia and Martinique that somewhat resembles the rumba

First Known Use of beguine

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1935, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for beguine

Noun (1)

borrowed from Middle French, feminine derivative of beguin, begard, "male member of a lay order," going back to Old French, borrowed from Middle Dutch begaert, bagaert, of uncertain origin

Noun (2)

American French béguine, from French béguin flirtation

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The first known use of beguine was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Beguine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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