Definitions

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

  • n. A ballroom dance similar to the rumba, based on a dance of Martinique and St. Lucia.
  • n. The music for this dance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A ballroom dance, similar to a slow rumba, that originated in the French West Indies.
  • n. The music for this dance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A woman belonging to one of the religious and charitable associations or communities in the Netherlands, and elsewhere, whose members live in beguinages and are not bound by perpetual vows.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See Beguin.

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

  • n. (Roman Catholic Church) a member of a lay sisterhood (one of several founded in the Netherlands in the 12th and 13th centuries); though not taking religious vows the sisters followed an austere life
  • n. a ballroom dance that originated in the French West Indies; similar to the rumba
  • n. music written in the bolero rhythm of the beguine dance

Etymologies

French (West Indies) béguine, from French béguin, hood, flirtation, from beguine, Beguine; see Beguine.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From American French béguine, from béguin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Okay, I just went and looked it up, and apparently a "beguine" is "a dance in bolero rhythm that originated in Martinique," and I'm sorry, James Robinson, but I'm going to have to call bullshit on that one until I see a flashback sequence where Lois and Clark get Jimmy a Word-A-Day calendar for Christmas.

    Chris's Invincible Super-Blog

  • Folks, I'll be honest with you here: I have no idea what a "beguine" is, and while this might just be me copping an ego, I'm pretty sure that

    Chris's Invincible Super-Blog

  • Some vitae indicate the language of the materials that the women read, as when the foundress of Engelthal, a beguine in Nuremberg named Alheid, read in German to her young community over meals. 17 Other vitae indicate the language that the women (and those associated with them) sang or spoke.

    Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany

  • Andrea Schacht: The novels about the beguine Almut Bossart.

    Reader Interview: Eva

  • Let us “begin the beguine” at the beginning, with Tom Dyja, brilliant novelist who encouraged me to have fun rather than write something wrenching.

    One Flight Up

  • From these women arose a new type of religious woman, the beguine. 7 These women took temporary vows of chastity, while embracing apostolic poverty and a life of prayer combined with service.

    Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany

  • Assuming we were loved at one time to beguine with of course.

    Axelrod: Obama "thought very long and hard about" about opening up the CIA interrogation memos.

  • Because I'm a music guy, I decided to begin the beguine by working on my own personal play list for my personal Obama victory party.

    David Wild: An Embarrassingly Premature Obama Victory Party Mix

  • Rhymes with beguine, "if you remember that old song."

    The End of the Pier

  • By a turning to the right out of the Rue St. Catherine, you come to the placid Minne Water, or Lac d'Amour, not far from the shores of which is one of those curious beguinages that are characteristic of Flanders, and consist of a number of separate little houses, grouped in community, each of which is inhabited by a beguine, or less strict kind of nun.

    Beautiful Europe: Belgium

Comments

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  • both a dance
    Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" (1935) refers to a kind of popular dance of West Indian origin, from French colloquial béguin "an infatuation, boyfriend, girlfriend," earlier "child's bonnet," and before that "nun's headdress" (14c.), from Middle Dutch beggaert, ultimately the same word. - Online Etymology Dict.


    and an order of women religious

    late 15c., from French béguine (13c.), Medieval Latin beguina, a member of a women's spiritual order said to have been founded c.1180 in Liege in the Low Countries. They are said to take their name from the surname of Lambert le Bègue "Lambert the Stammerer," a Liege priest who was instrumental in their founding, and it's likely the word was pejorative at first.

    The order generally preserved its reputation, though it quickly drew imposters who did not; nonetheless it eventually was condemned as heretical. A male order, called Beghards founded communities by the 1220s in imitation of them, but they soon degenerated (cf. Old French beguin "(male) Beguin," also "hypocrite") and wandered begging in the guise of religion; they likely were the source of the words beg and beggar, though there is disagreement over whether Beghard produced Middle Dutch beggaert "mendicant" or was produced by it. OnLine Etymology Dict.

    February 6, 2013