Definition of Hanse in English:



  • 1A medieval guild of merchants.

    • ‘Kogge is a rather crude simulation of Hanse trade.’
    • ‘As we noted in Part III, in northern Europe, the city league known as the Hanse became the dominant unit in this region, while in southern Europe, the Italian city-states flourished.’
    • ‘The Hanse merchants were a special case, and could have their own base in Lynn.’
    • ‘He continued to expand his horizons: in 1405 he was exporting large quantities of barley, oats, and wheat; and in 1412 he was trading with the Hanse and Norway.’
    • ‘During Elizabeth's reign they succeeded in seeing off the challenge of the Hanse, but protests against their monopoly persisted and the advocates of free trade gained ground.’
    1. 1.1 The Hanseatic League.
    2. 1.2 A fee payable to a guild of merchants.


Middle English: from Old French hanse ‘guild, company’, from Old High German hansa ‘company, troop’.