Definition of Balt in English:


Pronunciation /bɒlt//bɔːlt/


  • 1A speaker of a Baltic language; a Lithuanian or Latvian.

    • ‘Song is the soul of the Balts; and their national song festivals feature 30,000-strong choirs.’
    • ‘Despite large populations of noncitizens, most of whom did not know the local language, there was almost no violence between Balts and Russian-speakers.’
  • 2A native or inhabitant of one of the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

    • ‘But it also mentioned Stalin's occupation of the Baltic states, his wartime deportations of Balts and others and the contribution made by US lend-lease equipment to the Soviet victory.’
    • ‘At different times Stalin conducted mass arrests of Poles, Balts, Chechens, Tartars and on the eve of his death - Jews.’
    • ‘Ukrainians and Balts went on strike in the spring of 1953.’
    • ‘Many Balts had served in the German forces and there were two Latvian and one Estonian SS divisions.’
    • ‘Yet most ethnic Balts, who were treated as allies by the Germans but who suffered terribly under Soviet occupation, view the defeat of the Nazis as their own defeat.’
    1. 2.1historical A German-speaking inhabitant of any of the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
      • ‘Most of the property belonging to German-speaking Balts, especially the estates, was confiscated.’
      • ‘Her father was a diplomat and courtier, her mother a German-speaking Balt.’


Late 19th century: from late Latin Balthae ‘dwellers near the Baltic Sea’.