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 (bā′gēn′, bā-gēn′)
n. Roman Catholic Church
A member of any of several lay sisterhoods founded in the Netherlands in the 13th century.

[Middle English begine, from Old French beguine, from Middle Dutch beg-, root of beggaert, one who rattles off prayers.]


1. A ballroom dance similar to the foxtrot, based on a dance of Martinique and St. Lucia.
2. The music for this dance.

[French (West Indies) béguine, from French béguin, hood, flirtation, from beguine, Beguine; see Beguine.]


1. (Dancing) a dance of South American origin in bolero rhythm
2. (Music, other) a piece of music in the rhythm of this dance
3. (Clothing & Fashion) a variant of biggin1
[C20: from Louisiana French, from French béguin flirtation]


(Christian Churches, other) a member of a Christian sisterhood that was founded in Liège in the 12th century, and, though not taking religious vows, followed an austere life
[C15: from Old French, perhaps after Lambert le Bègue (the Stammerer), 12th-century priest of Liège, who founded the sisterhood]



a dance in bolero rhythm that originated in Martinique.
[1930–35; < French (West Indies) béguine, feminine derivative of French béguin infatuation, literally, a kind of cap, orig. one worn by a Beguine]


(ˈbɛg in, ˈbeɪ gin, bəˈgin)

a member of a Roman Catholic lay sisterhood founded in Liège in the 13th century.
[1350–1400; Middle English begyne < Middle French beguine, said to be after Lambert (le) Begue (the stammerer), founder of the order; see -ine 1]


A broad term referring to the traditional music of a large part of the West Indies including Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico. Characterized by the almost universal use of the clarinet and the trombone.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Beguine - (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
sisterhood - a religious society of women who live together as sisters (especially an order of nuns)
Church of Rome, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Church, Western Church, Roman Catholic - the Christian Church based in the Vatican and presided over by a pope and an episcopal hierarchy
sister - a female person who is a fellow member of a sorority or labor union or other group; "none of her sisters would betray her"
2.beguine - music written in the bolero rhythm of the beguine dance
dance music - music to dance to
3.beguine - a ballroom dance that originated in the French West Indies; similar to the rumba
ballroom dance, ballroom dancing - any of a variety of social dances performed by couples in a ballroom
References in periodicals archive ?
Synopsis: The beguines began to form in various parts of Europe over eight hundred years ago, around the year 1200.
Placid Priory in the state of Washington, adds to her prodigious body of work with this comprehensive investigation into the lives of thousands of celibate women who lived outside the cloister as beguines.
The selections are not limited to the narrowly orthodox: Cathars, Lollards, and Waldensians are represented, as are Beghards and Beguines, controversial visionaries (chapter 37) as well as recognized saints.
The Beguines, Cathars, die Schererin, and even a Jewish narrative of the first Crusade are represented.
The sections on the Peace of God movement, the Mennonites, the Beguines, and others do a much better job of showing the positive contributions of intentional Christians to the larger church and society.
He situates the Devout on a broad canvas of new religious ideas and forms that include beguines, tertiaries, Lollards, Hussites, Wycliffites, and Free Spirits.
Hunt presents the 318 stanzas of the text and discusses its literary and spiritual contexts and tradition, in addition to the history of the Beguines and their literary contribution.
Drawing on Latin American harmonies, rhythms and popular music, Norton creates 2-4 page light jazz sambas, beguines, bossa novas, rumbas and a mambo.
Although his title evokes the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan, a late medieval writer who celebrated extraordinary women from history and literature, Simons concentrates on the mostly inconspicuous and ordinary women who became beguines in the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries.
The devotional writings and mystical spirituality of the beguines have recently inspired much scholarly activity in the fields of history, art history, literary studies, and religion, thanks largely to the ground-breaking work of Caroline Walker Bynum and others who have brought the study of female religious life in the Middle Ages into the mainstream of academic scholarship.
The medieval repression of the Beguines is only one later example of how this ambivalence carried on.
Walter Simons presents a comprehensive and authoritative study of the history of the beguines.