Definition of Walloon in English:



  • 1A member of a people who speak a French dialect and live in southern and eastern Belgium and neighbouring parts of France.

    Compare with Fleming
    • ‘Ethnic differences between Belgium's Flemings and Walloons have been sources of social conflict.’
    • ‘And 80 years of nationalist teaching have made Iraqi ethnic tension more like Catalonians in Spain than Walloons in Belgium, and nothing like the Yugoslavs.’
    • ‘Belgium has Dutch-speaking Flemings in the north, French-speaking Walloons in the south, and a small number of German-speaking people near the border with Germany.’
    • ‘This was not a particularly easy task as the country is made up of two predominant peoples, the Flemish (who speak a form of Dutch) and the Walloons.’
    • ‘The Walloons, who live in Belgium's southern provinces, are the country's French-speaking inhabitants.’
    • ‘The Frenchspeakers, or Walloons, know it is not their own, and the Dutch-speaking Flemish cannot warm to it.’
    • ‘Politically, the Walloons have always looked to France as their natural defenders, while the Flemish population has looked to Germany.’
    • ‘By 1624, some thirty families, Protestant Walloons, established the first European settlement, New Amsterdam.’
    • ‘At this time, those suspected of being Walloons or Frenchmen who could speak Dutch were asked to say schild en vriend ‘shield and friend’, an expression regarded as particularly difficult for those who were not native speakers.’
    • ‘We were told not to speak too much at all, as you may upset the French, or the Flemish, or the Walloons, or the Dutch, or the organisers.’
    • ‘Beginning in the sixteenth century, both the Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons to their south came under the rule of a series of foreign powers.’
    • ‘But the night flights that are causing most complaints about noise levels are also affecting the Walloons - the French speaking Belgians.’
    • ‘Each political party had its representatives in the airline's management, and the tensions between the Walloon and Flemish halves created further conflicts.’
    • ‘Many Flemings have always been proficient in French, while Walloons were seldom proficient in Dutch.’
    • ‘Belgium was founded 175 years ago, when the Walloons and the Flemish decided to forge a common national identity.’
    • ‘Earlier in 1831 a new Kingdom of the Belgians had been created across the cultural and linguistic differences that divided Walloons, Flemings, and Germans.’
    • ‘The former, in response to Flemish people's pursuit of cultural autonomy, and the latter in response to the desire for economic autonomy of French-speakers in the capital and the French-speaking Walloons.’
    • ‘Because of their proximity to France, Walloons hold the French language in high regard, using it as the standard for their own.’
    • ‘Portuguese, Walloons, Prussians, Dutchmen, Spaniards, Poles - all speaking their own languages - were conscripted as Napoleon set out to avenge perceived slights from Czar Alexander.’
    • ‘In 1977 the Pact of Egmont, introduced by the Prime Minister, Leo Tindemans, recognized three semi-autonomous regions: that of the Flemings in the north, the Walloons in the south, and Brussels.’
  • 2mass noun The French dialect spoken by the Walloons.

    • ‘Those Belgians from the south speak Walloon, which is a French patois derived from Latin.’
    • ‘Gray chose 2,449 words from 87 languages, including English, Lithuanian, Gujarati, Romany, Walloon, Breton, Hindi and Pennsylvania Dutch and began a series of comparisons to build up a pattern of descent.’


  • Relating to the Walloons or their language.

    • ‘The new government made it the language of administration and education, hoping that it would replace Flemish, Walloon, and German dialects.’
    • ‘The third sample is the Walloon subgroup from the national Panel Study on Belgian Households, representative of the Belgian population as a whole, poor and non-poor.’
    • ‘The country's acrimonious linguistic divide has hardened the distinctions between Flemish and Walloon universities, with the result that much advanced rese arch has tended to focus on narrowly specialized and local issues.’
    • ‘The Walloon regional government and Charleroi airport have asked for the return of 4 million Euros following a decision by the European Commission.’
    • ‘The best-known Walloon author is mystery writer Georges Simenon, creator of the character of the police commissioner Maigret.’
    • ‘It's been announced that the well known Walloon group Urban Trad will be singing their entry, Sanomi, not in French or one of the other official languages of Belgium but in ‘an imaginary language’.’
    • ‘In addition to the emergence of a number of regional parties, the Flemish and Walloon sections of the Christian Democrats, the Socialists, and the Liberals split to form separate parties.’
    • ‘Almost 25 percent of the poor Walloon households state having difficulties with paying for their food.’
    • ‘The amount due to be returned by the airline will not be arrived at until the Commission has fully examined the full extent of the deal conceded by the Walloon state to the airline.’
    • ‘In Belgium it was the distant emperor who sought change: his Flemish and Walloon subjects merely wanted to be left alone.’
    • ‘During the feudal period between the ninth and twelfth centuries AD, the Flemish and Walloon cultures continued developing along separate lines.’
    • ‘The exact sum to be repaid by Ryanair will have to be agreed between the airport company and the Walloon regional government.’
    • ‘Ryanair said they could be forced to repay up to €13m to the Walloon regional government which owns Charleroi airport in Belgium.’
    • ‘The city suffered economically from the dissolutions at the Reformation, but revived modestly through silk-weaving introduced by Walloon refugees, and later as a social centre for gentry and clergy.’
    • ‘The politicians of the Walloon region should be applauded for using their authority for the public good.’
    • ‘In January 1579, Artois, parts of Flanders (the Walloon area) and Hainault signed the Union of Arras which bluntly stated that it would uphold the catholic faith.’
    • ‘Distinctive Flemish and Walloon parties, fighting for language rights and more autonomy, if not outright independence, mobilized support.’
    • ‘The high numbers of Flemish names in the south and Walloon names in the north indicate long time internal mobility.’
    • ‘Ryanair has rolled back on its refusal to repay the €4m it received in subsidies from the Walloon government as an incentive to fly into Charleroi airport.’
    • ‘Bounded by a Walloon church, the red light district and the existing Concertgebouw, the site seemed an ideal setting for Toneelschuur's continuing adventures in the avant-garde.’


From French Wallon, from medieval Latin Wallo(n-), from the same Germanic origin as Welsh.