1 of 2

noun (1)

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


2 of 2

noun (2)

be·​guine bi-ˈgēn How to pronounce beguine (audio)
: a vigorous popular dance of the islands of Saint Lucia and Martinique that somewhat resembles the rumba

Word History


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

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1935, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near beguine

Cite this Entry

“Beguine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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