Definition of Dane in US English:



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

    • ‘Design is a Danish strength, and sensibly, the Danes want to exploit the fact.’
    • ‘Finns, Danes and Americans enjoy the greatest freedom to travel, with 130 nations welcoming them without a visa.’
    • ‘Language is not a barrier either, as most Swedes and Danes speak very good English.’
    • ‘The Danes and the Swedes are picking up the bills for their royals while they are here.’
    • ‘In more recent times, the Danes, driven by Scandinavian-style liberalism, sought to modernise their colonies.’
    • ‘A number of letters to the editor in newspapers around the country suggested that we swap the British Royal Family for the Danes.’
    • ‘Beer-drinking is a national pastime but Danes are ever the ones for mild moderation.’
    • ‘The poorest understanding is between Danes and Swedes and the best between Norwegians and Swedes.’
    • ‘The Danes hold the presidency of the EU and Denmark is one of its largest fishing nations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the days gone by, the Norwegian royals reconciled with the Danes and elected a Danish prince to be the Norwegian ruler.’
    • ‘We should be thankful to the French and the Danes for applying the brakes to the adoption of the European Constitution.’
    • ‘As a nation, the Danes are said to be shy and suffer from an inferiority complex.’
    • ‘There are other similarities with Ireland as well: the Danes, like the Irish, I have found to be supremely welcoming.’
    • ‘Estonia was ruled by Poles, Danes, Germans, Swedes, and Russians after the thirteenth century.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So the Euro came about, and the Danes and the British, who refused to join, were told that outside the Eurozone lay disaster.’
    1. 1.1historical One of the Viking invaders of the British Isles in the 9th–11th centuries.
      • ‘The Danes, who had been ruled by Magnus, refused to accept Hardrada as King.’
      • ‘In fact, by the time the currency was released, Edmund's old kingdom seems to have been firmly under the sway of the Danes.’
      • ‘Fearing much damage to their undefended capital, the Danes sued for peace.’
      • ‘Many English people must have lived out their lives without ever seeing a Dane - as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle invariably calls these fearsome foes.’
      • ‘The Anglo-Saxons, for example, conquered England only to find themselves attacked by the Danes, and then the Normans.’
      • ‘Nor was it necessarily successful in winning respite in the ninth century, and in 875 the Danes simply moved on to Exeter.’
      • ‘He defended the Kingdom of Wessex from Viking raids and in 878 he defeated the Danes in the Battle of Ethandune near Westbury.’
      • ‘Of the three, the Saxons were the most numerous and it was Saxon kings who had ruled before the Danes arrived.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Quite simply, the depredations of the Danes aided Wessex by extinguishing all other royal lineages.’
      • ‘In the later 9th cent., after the struggle between Alfred and the Danes, the region became part of Wessex.’
      • ‘Lynn responded both by a retaliation against Danes in the town and by sending ambassadors to treat with the king of Denmark.’
      • ‘Long before the Danes or Normans reached our shores Ireland from north to south were populated by indigenous families.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So many Danes had settled in eastern England that Alfred was unable to pry them out.’
      • ‘Although the Danes were defeated at Ashdown, the West Saxons were forced to negotiate and pay tribute after losing further battles.’
      • ‘By the autumn of 880 the Danes had left Wessex and western Mercia, and had begun the systematic settlement of East Anglia.’
      • ‘Would Christians really nail the skin of a marauding Dane to their church door?’
      • ‘Alfred saw that the Danes were gaining the advantage, refused to wait for his brother to end his prayers, and charged at the Danes.’


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