Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A medieval merchant guild or trade association.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A league; a confederacy.
  • n. A society or combination of merchants in mercantile towns, for the protection and facility of trade and transportation.
  • n. A Mediaeval French guild.
  • n. The German Hanseatic league; Hanse.
  • adj. Pertaining to the Hanse or German Hanseatic league.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That part of an elliptical or many-centered arch which has the shorter radius and immediately adjoins the impost.
  • n. An association; a league or confederacy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A league; a confederacy; a society or combination of merchants in mercantile towns, for the protection and facility of trade and transportation. In the middle ages French gilds were called hanses.
  • n. Specifically [capitalized] The German Hanseatic league.
  • [capitalized] Pertaining to the Hanse or German Hanseatic league: as, Hanse towns.
  • n. See hance.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French, from Middle Low German, from Old High German hansa, military troop.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English hanse, from Old French hanse ("hanse, fee, company of merchants") and/or Medieval Latin hansa ("hanse, the Hanse League"); both from Middle High German hans, hanse ("association or corporation of merchants, the Hanse League"), from Old High German hansa ("troop of soldiers, host, company, multitude, crowd, mass"), from Proto-Germanic *hansō (“gathering, coalition, troop, company”), Proto-Indo-European *ḱómsōd (“union, gathering”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱóm (“beside, by, with, along”). Cognate with Gothic  (hansa, "band of men"), Old English hōs ("company, escort, attendants, retinue"), Latin consilium ("council, advisory body"; < *consodium), Russian сосед (soséd, "neighbour"), Latin cum ("with").

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