a dance in bolero rhythm that originated in Martinique.
a modern social dance based on the beguine.
music for either of these dances.

1930–35; < French (West Indies) béguine, feminine derivative of béguin biggin1, trifling love affair Unabridged


[beg-een, bey-geen, buh-geen]
noun Roman Catholic Church.
a member of a lay sisterhood, founded in Liège in the 12th century.

1350–1400; Middle English begyne < Middle French beguine, said to be after Lambert (le) Begue (the stammerer), founder of the order; see -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beguine (bɪˈɡiːn)
1.  a dance of South American origin in bolero rhythm
2.  a piece of music in the rhythm of this dance
3.  a variant of biggin
[C20: from Louisiana French, from French béguin flirtation]

Beguine (ˈbɛɡiːn)
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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 15c., from Fr. béguine (13c.), M.L. 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. O.Fr. 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 M.Du. beggaert "mendicant" or was produced by it. Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" (1935) refers to a kind of popular dance, from French colloquial béguin "an infatuation, boyfriend, girlfriend," earlier "child's bonnet," and before that "nun's headdress" (14c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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