Definition of Balt in English:


Pronunciation /bɔːlt//bɒlt/


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

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many Balts had served in the German forces and there were two Latvian and one Estonian SS divisions.’
    1. 2.1historical A German-speaking inhabitant of any of the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
      • ‘Her father was a diplomat and courtier, her mother a German-speaking Balt.’
      • ‘Most of the property belonging to German-speaking Balts, especially the estates, was confiscated.’


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