Definition of Dane in English:



  • 1A native or inhabitant of Denmark, or a person of Danish descent.

    • ‘It is a hospitable place - the polite consideration characteristic of the Danes makes it a lovely place in which to be a guest.’
    • ‘Almost all Danes are of Nordic stock, and most are members of the Lutheran church.’
    • ‘While born a Dane, once Olav ascended the throne after the death of his own father, Haakon, he came to represent modern Norway as a father figure.’
    • ‘The Danes hold the presidency of the EU and Denmark is one of its largest fishing nations.’
    • ‘Design is a Danish strength, and sensibly, the Danes want to exploit the fact.’
    • ‘Estonia was ruled by Poles, Danes, Germans, Swedes, and Russians after the thirteenth century.’
    • ‘We should be thankful to the French and the Danes for applying the brakes to the adoption of the European Constitution.’
    • ‘There are other similarities with Ireland as well: the Danes, like the Irish, I have found to be supremely welcoming.’
    • ‘Everybody knows the Irish and the Danes always say no to everything, and now that a few others have done the same, all hell breaks loose.’
    • ‘In the days gone by, the Norwegian royals reconciled with the Danes and elected a Danish prince to be the Norwegian ruler.’
    • ‘The poorest understanding is between Danes and Swedes and the best between Norwegians and Swedes.’
    • ‘Finns, Danes and Americans enjoy the greatest freedom to travel, with 130 nations welcoming them without a visa.’
    • ‘Beer-drinking is a national pastime but Danes are ever the ones for mild moderation.’
    • ‘A number of letters to the editor in newspapers around the country suggested that we swap the British Royal Family for the Danes.’
    • ‘So the Euro came about, and the Danes and the British, who refused to join, were told that outside the Eurozone lay disaster.’
    • ‘The Anglo-French-Scandinavian branch of the Sichel family is descended from a Dane who married a Sichel of Mainz, worked for the firm, and took his wife's name.’
    • ‘In more recent times, the Danes, driven by Scandinavian-style liberalism, sought to modernise their colonies.’
    • ‘The Danes and the Swedes are picking up the bills for their royals while they are here.’
    • ‘As a nation, the Danes are said to be shy and suffer from an inferiority complex.’
    • ‘Language is not a barrier either, as most Swedes and Danes speak very good English.’
    1. 1.1historical One of the Viking invaders of the British Isles in the 9th–11th centuries.
      • ‘In the same period, Edward the Elder led a combined West Saxon and Meridian army against the Danes and brought back both slaves and livestock.’
      • ‘By the autumn of 880 the Danes had left Wessex and western Mercia, and had begun the systematic settlement of East Anglia.’
      • ‘Alfred saw that the Danes were gaining the advantage, refused to wait for his brother to end his prayers, and charged at the Danes.’
      • ‘Long before the Danes or Normans reached our shores Ireland from north to south were populated by indigenous families.’
      • ‘In the later 9th cent., after the struggle between Alfred and the Danes, the region became part of Wessex.’
      • ‘In fact, by the time the currency was released, Edmund's old kingdom seems to have been firmly under the sway of the Danes.’
      • ‘The Danes, who had been ruled by Magnus, refused to accept Hardrada as King.’
      • ‘He defended the Kingdom of Wessex from Viking raids and in 878 he defeated the Danes in the Battle of Ethandune near Westbury.’
      • ‘Although the Danes were defeated at Ashdown, the West Saxons were forced to negotiate and pay tribute after losing further battles.’
      • ‘Would Christians really nail the skin of a marauding Dane to their church door?’
      • ‘Lynn responded both by a retaliation against Danes in the town and by sending ambassadors to treat with the king of Denmark.’
      • ‘So many Danes had settled in eastern England that Alfred was unable to pry them out.’
      • ‘Of the three, the Saxons were the most numerous and it was Saxon kings who had ruled before the Danes arrived.’
      • ‘Nor was it necessarily successful in winning respite in the ninth century, and in 875 the Danes simply moved on to Exeter.’
      • ‘Fearing much damage to their undefended capital, the Danes sued for peace.’
      • ‘Quite simply, the depredations of the Danes aided Wessex by extinguishing all other royal lineages.’
      • ‘The Anglo-Saxons, for example, conquered England only to find themselves attacked by the Danes, and then the Normans.’
      • ‘The dedication is to the East Anglian king executed by the Danes in 870.’
      • ‘One illustration is dated to the late ninth century and shows a Dane and two companions with thin plates attached to the front of their hose and reaching from knee to instep.’
      • ‘Many English people must have lived out their lives without ever seeing a Dane - as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle invariably calls these fearsome foes.’


Old English Dene; superseded in Middle English by forms influenced by Old Norse Danir and late Latin Dani (both plural).