Definitions

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

  • A historical region of northwest Europe including parts of northern France, western Belgium, and southwest Netherlands along the North Sea. For many centuries it enjoyed virtual independence and great prosperity as a center of the cloth industry. The Hapsburg wars in the Low Countries caused the eventual division of the region, which suffered heavy damage during both World Wars.
  • A Dutch-speaking region of northern Belgium. It was granted limited autonomy in 1980.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The Countship of Flanders, of varying extent.
  • proper n. A subnational state in the north of federal Belgium, the institutional merger of a territorial region and the Dutch language 'community' which also has/shares some authority in the capital region Brussels.
  • proper n. Two provinces in Belgian Flanders: (West-Flanders and East-Flanders).
  • proper n. Short for French Flanders, a former province of the French kingdom on territory taken from the above countship, now constituting the French department Nord.
  • proper n. The principal railway station in Lille, capital of the above.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a medieval country in northern Europe that included regions now parts of northern France and Belgium and southwestern Netherlands

Etymologies

From French Flandres, from Dutch Vlaanderen (pl.), from Middle Dutch Vlander, from Old Frisian, from Proto-Germanic *flaumdra ‘waterlogged land’, from *flaumaz ‘flowing, current (water)’ (compare Old High German weraltfloum ("transitoriness of life"), Old Norse flaumr ("eddy")), from Proto-Indo-European *plow-m- ‘flow’ (compare Ancient Greek plŷma ("dishwater, washing water")). More at flow. "Waterlogged" refers to the mudflats and salt marshes common to coastal Flanders. (Wiktionary)

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