A World of Words: Western Europe - Middle School and High School

Travel from the heaths of England to the fjords of Norway with this list of vocabulary related to Western Europe. Explore colonialism and empire, natural resources, and social and political structures such as feudalism, monarchy, and democracy.
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  1. acid rain
    precipitation with toxic gas emissions combined with water
  2. Adriatic Sea
    an arm of the Mediterranean between Slovenia and Croatia and Montenegro and Albania on the east and Italy on the west
  3. Aegean Sea
    an arm of the Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey
  4. agrarian
    relating to rural matters
  5. agriculture
    the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock
  6. air pollution
    pollution of the atmosphere
  7. alpine
    relating to or characteristic of high mountains
  8. Alps
    a large mountain system in south-central Europe
  9. Amsterdam
    an industrial center and the nominal capital of the Netherlands; center of the diamond-cutting industry; seat of an important stock exchange; known for its canals and art museum
  10. Andorra
    a small republic in the eastern Pyrenees between Spain and France
  11. anti-Semitism
    the intense dislike for and prejudice against Jewish people
  12. Antwerp
    a busy port and financial center in northern Belgium on the Scheldt river; it has long been a center for the diamond industry and the first stock exchange was opened there in 1460
  13. Apennines
    a mountain range extending the length of the Italian peninsula
  14. aqueduct
    a conduit that carries water over a valley
  15. arable
    capable of being farmed productively
  16. archipelago
    a group of many islands in a large body of water
  17. Arctic Ocean
    ice covered waters surrounding the North Pole
  18. Athens
    the capital and largest city of Greece; named after Athena
  19. Atlantic Ocean
    the 2nd largest ocean
  20. aurora borealis
    the aurora of the northern hemisphere
  21. Austria
    a mountainous republic in central Europe
  22. autonomy
    political independence
  23. bagpipe
    a tubular wind instrument
  24. Baltic Sea
    a sea in northern Europe; stronghold of the Russian navy
  25. banking
    engaging in the business of keeping money for savings and checking accounts or for exchange or for issuing loans and credit etc.
  26. Basque
    a member of a people of unknown origin living in the western Pyrenees in France and Spain
  27. Bavaria
    a state in southern Germany famous for its beer
  28. Bay of Biscay
    an arm of the Atlantic Ocean in western Europe
  29. Belgium
    a monarchy in northwestern Europe
  30. Benelux
    a customs union comprising Belgium and Netherlands and Luxembourg
  31. Berlin
    capital of Germany located in eastern Germany
  32. Berne
    the capital of Switzerland; located in western Switzerland
  33. Black Forest
    a hilly forest region in southwestern Germany
  34. bloc
    a group of countries in special alliance
  35. bog
    wet spongy ground of decomposing vegetation
  36. Brussels
    the capital and largest city of Belgium
  37. business district
    the central area or commercial center of a town or city
  38. Cambridge
    a city in eastern England on the River Cam
  39. canton
    a small administrative division of a country
  40. Cardiff
    the capital and largest city of Wales
  41. Catalonia
    a region of northeastern Spain
  42. Celtic
    relating to or characteristic of the Celts
  43. chancellor
    the person who is head of state (in several countries)
  44. chaparral
    dense vegetation consisting of stunted trees or bushes
  45. Christianity
    a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior
  46. chunnel
    the railroad tunnel between France and England under the English Channel
  47. coastal
    located on or near or bordering on a shore
  48. colonialism
    exploitation by a stronger country of a weaker one
  49. colonize
    establish political control over a place by sending settlers
  50. colony
    a geographical area controlled by a distant country
  51. commune
    a body of people living together and sharing everything
  52. confederation
    a union of political organizations
  53. consumer
    a person who uses goods or services
  54. Copenhagen
    the capital and largest city of Denmark
  55. currency
    the metal or paper medium of exchange that is presently used
  56. Cyprus
    a country on the island of Cyprus
  57. Danube River
    the 2nd longest European river
  58. decentralize
    distribute power from one main authority to smaller ones
  59. democracy
    a political system in which power lies in a body of citizens
  60. Denmark
    a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe
  61. department
    the territorial and administrative unit of some countries
  62. dike
    a barrier constructed to contain the flow of water
  63. diversity
    noticeable variety
  64. Dublin
    capital and largest city and major port of the Irish Republic
  65. economy
    the system of production and distribution and consumption
  66. Eiffel Tower
    a wrought iron tower 300 meters high that was constructed in Paris in 1889; for many years it was the tallest man-made structure
  67. emigration
    moving from one place in order to settle in another
  68. empire
    the domain ruled by a single authoritative sovereign
  69. England
    a division of the United Kingdom
  70. English Channel
    an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that forms a channel between France and Britain
  71. euro
    the basic monetary unit of most members of the European Union (introduced in 1999); in 2002 twelve European nations (Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Finland) adopted the euro as their basic unit of money and abandoned their traditional currencies
  72. European Union
    an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members
  73. exploration
    travel for the purpose of discovery
  74. explorer
    someone who travels to unknown regions to make discoveries
  75. export
    sell or transfer abroad
  76. Faeroe Islands
    a group of 21 volcanic islands in the North Atlantic between Iceland and the Shetland Islands
  77. famine
    a severe shortage of food resulting in starvation and death
  78. feudalism
    the social system in which vassals were protected by lords
  79. Finland
    republic in northern Europe
  80. fjord
    a long narrow inlet of the sea between steep cliffs
  81. Flanders
    a medieval country in northern Europe that included regions now parts of northern France and Belgium and southwestern Netherlands
  82. Flemish
    one of two official languages of Belgium
  83. Florence
    a city in central Italy on the Arno
  84. foehn
    a warm dry wind that blows down the northern slopes of the Alps
  85. France
    a republic in western Europe
  86. Geneva
    a city in southwestern Switzerland at the western end of Lake Geneva; it is the headquarters of various international organizations
  87. Germanic language
    a branch of the Indo-European family of languages
  88. Germany
    a republic in central Europe
  89. globalization
    growth to a worldwide scale
  90. Great Britain
    a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom
  91. Greece
    a republic in southeastern Europe on the southern part of the Balkan peninsula; known for grapes and olives and olive oil
  92. Greek Orthodox Church
    state church of Greece
  93. Greenland
    the largest island in the world
  94. gross domestic product
    the value of all things made and sold by a country in a year
  95. Hamburg
    a port city in northern Germany on the Elbe River that was founded by Charlemagne in the 9th century and is today the largest port in Germany; in 1241 it formed an alliance with Lubeck that became the basis for the Hanseatic League
  96. Hapsburg
    a royal German family that provided rulers for several European states and wore the crown of the Holy Roman Empire from 1440 to 1806
  97. heath
    uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation
  98. Hebrides
    a group of more than 500 islands off the western coast of Scotland
  99. Helsinki
    the capital and largest city of Finland
  100. Holland
    a constitutional monarchy in western Europe on the North Sea
  101. Holocaust
    the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime
  102. human right
    any basic freedom to which all people are entitled
  103. Iberian Peninsula
    a peninsula in southwestern Europe
  104. Iceland
    an island republic on the island of Iceland
  105. immigrant
    a person who comes to a country in order to settle there
  106. import
    bring in from abroad
  107. Indo-European
    the family of languages that by 1000 BC were spoken throughout Europe and in parts of southwestern and southern Asia
  108. Industrial Revolution
    the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial nation
  109. industry
    the action of making of goods and services for sale
  110. inflation
    a general and progressive increase in prices
  111. infrastructure
    basic facilities needed for the functioning of a country
  112. innovation
    the act of starting something for the first time
  113. Ionian Sea
    an arm of the Mediterranean Sea between western Greece and southern Italy
  114. Ireland
    an island comprising the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  115. Irish Republican Army
    a militant organization of Irish nationalists who used terrorism and guerilla warfare in an effort to drive British forces from Northern Ireland and achieve a united independent Ireland
  116. iron ore
    an ore from which iron can be extracted
  117. isolation
    a country's withdrawal from international politics
  118. Italian Peninsula
    a boot-shaped peninsula in southern Europe extending into the Mediterranean Sea
  119. Italy
    a republic in southern Europe on the Italian Peninsula
  120. Jutland
    peninsula in northern Europe that forms the continental part of Denmark and a northern part of Germany
  121. Kattegatt
    a strait of the North Sea between Jutland and Sweden
  122. kilt
    a traditional knee-length skirt worn by men in Scotland
  123. kingdom
    the domain ruled by a monarch
  124. Lake District
    a popular tourist area in northwestern England including England's largest lake and highest mountain
  125. Liechtenstein
    a small landlocked principality (constitutional monarchy) in central Europe located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland
  126. life expectancy
    an expected time to live as calculated on the basis of statistical probabilities
  127. livestock
    any animals kept for use or profit
  128. loess
    a fine accumulation of clay and silt deposited by the wind
  129. London
    the capital and largest city of England
  130. Low Countries
    the lowland region of western Europe on the North Sea: Belgium and Luxembourg and the Netherlands
  131. lumber
    the wood of trees prepared for use as building material
  132. Lutheranism
    teachings of Martin Luther emphasizing the cardinal doctrine of justification by faith alone
  133. Luxembourg
    a grand duchy (a constitutional monarchy) landlocked in northwestern Europe between France and Belgium and Germany; an international financial center
  134. Madrid
    the capital and largest city situated centrally in Spain
  135. manufacture
    put together out of artificial or natural components
  136. market economy
    an economy that relies on market forces to determine prices
  137. Massif Central
    a mountainous plateau in southern France that covers almost one sixth of the country
  138. mass production
    the manufacturing of large quantities of goods
  139. Mediterranean
    of or relating to or characteristic of or located near the Mediterranean Sea
  140. Mediterranean Sea
    the largest inland sea; between Europe and Africa and Asia
  141. mercantilism
    a system of increasing wealth through colonization and trade
  142. migration
    the movement of persons from one locality to another
  143. Milan
    the capital of Lombardy in northern Italy
  144. mineral
    a solid inorganic substance occurring in nature
  145. mining
    the act of extracting ores or coal from the earth
  146. mistral
    a strong north wind that blows in France during the winter
  147. modernization
    the act of making up-to-date in appearance or behavior
  148. Monaco
    a constitutional monarchy in a tiny enclave on the French Riviera
  149. monarchy
    autocracy governed by a ruler who usually inherits authority
  150. monastery
    the residence of a religious community
  151. Mont Blanc
    the highest mountain peak in the Alps
  152. moor
    open land with peaty soil covered with heather and moss
  153. Mount Etna
    an inactive volcano in Sicily
  154. Mt. Vesuvius
    a volcano in southwestern Italy on the Mediterranean coast
  155. NATO
    an international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty for purposes of collective security
  156. natural gas
    a fossil fuel in the gaseous state
  157. natural resource
    material in the environment that can be used by people
  158. Netherlands
    a constitutional monarchy in western Europe on the North Sea
  159. neutrality
    nonparticipation in a dispute or war
  160. Nordic
    relating to Germany and Scandinavia
  161. Northern Ireland
    a division of the United Kingdom located on the northern part of the island of Ireland
  162. North Sea
    an arm of the North Atlantic between the British Isles and Scandinavia; oil was discovered under the North Sea in 1970
  163. Norway
    a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe on the western side of the Scandinavian Peninsula; achieved independence from Sweden in 1905
  164. Norwegian Sea
    the part of the Atlantic that lies off the Norwegian coast to the north of the North Sea
  165. olive
    small ovoid fruit of the European olive tree
  166. Oslo
    the capital and largest city of Norway
  167. Otto von Bismarck
    German statesman under whose leadership Germany was united
  168. Oxford
    a city in southern England to the northwest of London
  169. Paris
    the capital and largest city of France
  170. parliament
    a legislative assembly in certain countries
  171. peat
    partially carbonized vegetable matter saturated with water
  172. peninsula
    a large mass of land projecting into a body of water
  173. Pennines
    a system of hills in Britain that extend from the Scottish border in the north to the Trent River in the south; forms the watershed for English rivers
  174. petroleum
    a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
  175. piazza
    a public square with room for pedestrians
  176. plain
    an extensive tract of level, open land
  177. polder
    low-lying land that has been reclaimed and is protected by dikes (especially in the Netherlands)
  178. Pompeii
    ancient city to the southeast of Naples that was buried by a volcanic eruption from Vesuvius
  179. pope
    the head of the Roman Catholic Church
  180. port
    where people and merchandise can enter or leave a country
  181. Portugal
    a republic in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula
  182. postindustrial
    of or relating to a society or economy marked by a lessened importance of manufacturing and an increase of services, information, and research
  183. pound
    the basic unit of money in Great Britain and Northern Ireland; equal to 100 pence
  184. prairie
    a treeless grassy plain
  185. precipitation
    the falling to earth of any form of water
  186. prime minister
    head of government, especially of a parliamentary democracy
  187. Protestantism
    the theological system of any of the churches of western Christendom that separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation
  188. Pyrenees
    a chain of mountains between France and Spain
  189. raw material
    material suitable for manufacture or use or finishing
  190. recession
    a situation in which the state of the economy declines
  191. Reformation
    a religious movement of the 16th century that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the creation of Protestant churches
  192. refugee
    an exile who flees for safety
  193. region
    a large indefinite location on the surface of the Earth
  194. Renaissance
    period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages
  195. reparation
    compensation exacted from a defeated nation by the victors
  196. reunification
    the act of coming together again
  197. revolution
    the overthrow of a government by those who are governed
  198. Reykjavik
    the capital and chief port of Iceland on the southwestern coast of Iceland; buildings are heated by natural hot water
  199. Rhine River
    a major European river carrying more traffic than any other river in the world; flows into the North Sea
  200. Roman Catholicism
    the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church based in Rome
  201. Romance language
    the group of languages derived from Latin
  202. Roman Empire
    an empire established by Augustus in 27 BC and divided in AD 395 into the Western Roman Empire and the eastern or Byzantine Empire; at its peak lands in Europe and Africa and Asia were ruled by ancient Rome
  203. Rome
    capital and largest city of Italy
  204. Sami
    a member of an indigenous nomadic people living in northern Scandinavia and herding reindeer
  205. San Marino
    the smallest republic in the world
  206. Sardinia
    an island in the Mediterranean to the west of Italy
  207. Scandinavian Peninsula
    the peninsula in northern Europe occupied by Norway and Sweden
  208. Scotland
    one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; located on the northern part of the island of Great Britain; famous for bagpipes and plaids and kilts
  209. seafaring
    the work of a sailor
  210. Seine River
    a French river that flows through the heart of Paris and then northward into the English Channel
  211. Sicily
    the largest island in the Mediterranean
  212. sirocco
    a windstorm that lifts up clouds of dust or sand
  213. social welfare
    governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need
  214. solar energy
    energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy
  215. Spain
    a parliamentary monarchy in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula; a former colonial power
  216. standard of living
    the level of material goods and services available
  217. Stockholm
    the capital and largest city of Sweden
  218. Strait of Gibraltar
    the strait between Spain and Africa
  219. strip mining
    the mining of ore or coal from an open mine
  220. Sweden
    a Scandinavian kingdom in the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula
  221. Switzerland
    a landlocked federal republic in central Europe
  222. technology
    the practical application of science to commerce or industry
  223. textile
    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting fibers
  224. textile mill
    a factory for making textiles
  225. Thames River
    the longest river in England
  226. The Hague
    the site of the royal residence and the de facto capital in the western part of the Netherlands; seat of the International Court of Justice
  227. timber
    the wood of trees prepared for use as building material
  228. tourism
    the business of providing services to travelers for pleasure
  229. trade
    the commercial exchange of goods and services
  230. Treaty of Versailles
    the treaty imposed on Germany by the Allied powers in 1920 after the end of World War I which demanded exorbitant reparations from the Germans
  231. tundra
    a vast treeless plain where subsoil is permanently frozen
  232. turbine
    an engine that causes a bladed rotor to rotate
  233. unemployment
    the state of not having a job
  234. unification
    the act of making or becoming a single entity
  235. union
    the state of being joined or united or linked
  236. United Kingdom
    a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom
  237. urbanization
    the social process whereby cities grow
  238. Vaduz
    the capital and largest city of Liechtenstein
  239. Vatican City
    the capital of the State of the Vatican City
  240. Venice
    the provincial capital of Veneto
  241. Vienna
    the capital and largest city of Austria
  242. Viking
    any of the Scandinavian people who raided the coasts of Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries
  243. volcano
    a fissure in the earth's crust through which gases erupt
  244. Wales
    one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; during Roman times the region was known as Cambria
  245. Walloon
    a member of the French-speaking people living in Belgium
  246. waltz
    music composed in triple time
  247. welfare state
    a government that undertakes responsibility for the welfare of its citizens through programs in public health and public housing and pensions and unemployment compensation etc.
  248. William the Conqueror
    duke of Normandy who led the Norman invasion of England and became the first Norman to be King of England; he defeated Harold II at the battle of Hastings in 1066 and introduced many Norman customs into England (1027-1087)
  249. World War I
    a war between the allies (Russia, France, British Empire, Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Montenegro) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) from 1914 to 1918
  250. World War II
    a war between the Allies and the Axis from 1939 to 1945
  251. Zuider Zee
    a former inlet of the North Sea in the northern coast of the Netherlands; sealed off from the sea in 1932 by a dam that created the IJsselmeer
  252. Zurich
    the largest city in Switzerland
Created on March 1, 2017 (updated March 31, 2017)

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