Dunkerque

Dunkirk

[duhn-kurk]
noun
1.
French Dunkerque [dœn-kerk] . a seaport in N France: site of the evacuation of a British expeditionary force of over 330,000 men under German fire May 29–June 4, 1940.
2.
a period of crisis or emergency when drastic measures must be enforced: The smaller nations were facing a financial Dunkirk.
3.
a city in W New York, on Lake Erie.
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World English Dictionary
Dunkerque (French dœ̃kɛrk)
 
n
English name: Dunkirk a port in N France, on the Strait of Dover: scene of the evacuation of British and other Allied troops after the fall of France in 1940; industrial centre with an oil refinery and naval shipbuilding yards. Pop: 70 850 (1999)

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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Dunkirk definition


The scene of a remarkable, though ignominious, retreat by the British army in World War II. Dunkirk, a town on the northern coast of France, was the last refuge of the British during the fall of France, and several hundred naval and civilian vessels took the troops back to England in shifts over three days.

Note: The term Dunkirk is sometimes used to signify a desperate retreat.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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