Share this entry
beguinage Line breaks: be¦guin|age
Pronunciation: /ˈbeɪɡɪnədʒ/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

Definition of beguinage in English:


A house for members of a lay sisterhood in the Low Countries.
Example sentences
  • He has looked at archival manuscripts from some 300 communities, and further research on beguinages will have to begin with his findings.
  • The Dutch revolt against Spain in the sixteenth century broke the continuity of beguinages, even though some persisted through the nineteenth century.
  • After rather informal beginnings in a context of religious independence and women's work, beguinages became large, well-established institutions by the fourteenth century.


Late 17th century: from French béguine (see beguine2) + -age.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources