A country of northwest Europe on the North Sea. Inhabited in ancient times by the Belgae, the region was part of the Roman and Carolingian empires before breaking up into a number of feudal states during the Middle Ages. The area occupied by present-day Belgium passed to the Habsburgs in the 15th century and to the French in the 18th century. Following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Belgium was given to the kingdom of the Netherlands, from which it gained independence as a separate kingdom in 1830. Brussels is the capital and the largest city.
(click for a larger image)Belgium
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.