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beguinage Line breaks: be¦guin|age
Pronunciation: /ˈbeɪɡɪnədʒ/
/beɪɡɪˈnɑːʒ/

Definition of beguinage in English:

noun

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.

Origin

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

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