A World of Words: Western Europe - Introductory

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. agrarian
    relating to rural matters
  3. agriculture
    the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock
  4. air pollution
    pollution of the atmosphere
  5. alpine
    relating to or characteristic of high mountains
  6. Alps
    a large mountain system in south-central Europe
  7. Apennines
    a mountain range extending the length of the Italian peninsula
  8. aqueduct
    a conduit that carries water over a valley
  9. arable
    capable of being farmed productively
  10. archipelago
    a group of many islands in a large body of water
  11. Arctic Ocean
    ice covered waters surrounding the North Pole
  12. Atlantic Ocean
    the 2nd largest ocean
  13. Austria
    a mountainous republic in central Europe
  14. autonomy
    political independence
  15. bagpipe
    a tubular wind instrument
  16. banking
    engaging in the business of keeping money for savings and checking accounts or for exchange or for issuing loans and credit etc.
  17. Belgium
    a monarchy in northwestern Europe
  18. Black Forest
    a hilly forest region in southwestern Germany
  19. bloc
    a group of countries in special alliance
  20. bog
    wet spongy ground of decomposing vegetation
  21. business district
    the central area or commercial center of a town or city
  22. chancellor
    the person who is head of state (in several countries)
  23. chaparral
    dense vegetation consisting of stunted trees or bushes
  24. 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
  25. chunnel
    the railroad tunnel between France and England under the English Channel
  26. coastal
    located on or near or bordering on a shore
  27. colonialism
    exploitation by a stronger country of a weaker one
  28. colonize
    establish political control over a place by sending settlers
  29. colony
    a geographical area controlled by a distant country
  30. confederation
    a union of political organizations
  31. consumer
    a person who uses goods or services
  32. currency
    the metal or paper medium of exchange that is presently used
  33. decentralize
    distribute power from one main authority to smaller ones
  34. democracy
    a political system in which power lies in a body of citizens
  35. Denmark
    a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe
  36. department
    the territorial and administrative unit of some countries
  37. dike
    a barrier constructed to contain the flow of water
  38. diversity
    noticeable variety
  39. economy
    the system of production and distribution and consumption
  40. 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
  41. emigration
    moving from one place in order to settle in another
  42. empire
    the domain ruled by a single authoritative sovereign
  43. England
    a division of the United Kingdom
  44. English Channel
    an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that forms a channel between France and Britain
  45. 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
  46. European Union
    an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members
  47. exploration
    travel for the purpose of discovery
  48. explorer
    someone who travels to unknown regions to make discoveries
  49. export
    sell or transfer abroad
  50. famine
    a severe shortage of food resulting in starvation and death
  51. feudalism
    the social system in which vassals were protected by lords
  52. Finland
    republic in northern Europe
  53. fjord
    a long narrow inlet of the sea between steep cliffs
  54. foehn
    a warm dry wind that blows down the northern slopes of the Alps
  55. France
    a republic in western Europe
  56. Germany
    a republic in central Europe
  57. globalization
    growth to a worldwide scale
  58. 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
  59. Greece
    a republic in southeastern Europe on the southern part of the Balkan peninsula; known for grapes and olives and olive oil
  60. Greenland
    the largest island in the world
  61. gross domestic product
    the value of all things made and sold by a country in a year
  62. heath
    uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation
  63. human right
    any basic freedom to which all people are entitled
  64. Iceland
    an island republic on the island of Iceland
  65. immigrant
    a person who comes to a country in order to settle there
  66. import
    bring in from abroad
  67. Indo-European
    the family of languages that by 1000 BC were spoken throughout Europe and in parts of southwestern and southern Asia
  68. Industrial Revolution
    the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial nation
  69. industry
    the action of making of goods and services for sale
  70. inflation
    a general and progressive increase in prices
  71. infrastructure
    basic facilities needed for the functioning of a country
  72. innovation
    the act of starting something for the first time
  73. Ireland
    an island comprising the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  74. iron ore
    an ore from which iron can be extracted
  75. isolation
    a country's withdrawal from international politics
  76. Italy
    a republic in southern Europe on the Italian Peninsula
  77. kilt
    a traditional knee-length skirt worn by men in Scotland
  78. kingdom
    the domain ruled by a monarch
  79. Liechtenstein
    a small landlocked principality (constitutional monarchy) in central Europe located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland
  80. life expectancy
    an expected time to live as calculated on the basis of statistical probabilities
  81. livestock
    any animals kept for use or profit
  82. loess
    a fine accumulation of clay and silt deposited by the wind
  83. London
    the capital and largest city of England
  84. lumber
    the wood of trees prepared for use as building material
  85. manufacture
    put together out of artificial or natural components
  86. mass production
    the manufacturing of large quantities of goods
  87. Mediterranean Sea
    the largest inland sea; between Europe and Africa and Asia
  88. mercantilism
    a system of increasing wealth through colonization and trade
  89. migration
    the movement of persons from one locality to another
  90. mineral
    a solid inorganic substance occurring in nature
  91. mining
    the act of extracting ores or coal from the earth
  92. mistral
    a strong north wind that blows in France during the winter
  93. modernization
    the act of making up-to-date in appearance or behavior
  94. monarchy
    autocracy governed by a ruler who usually inherits authority
  95. monastery
    the residence of a religious community
  96. moor
    open land with peaty soil covered with heather and moss
  97. Mt. Vesuvius
    a volcano in southwestern Italy on the Mediterranean coast
  98. NATO
    an international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty for purposes of collective security
  99. natural gas
    a fossil fuel in the gaseous state
  100. natural resource
    material in the environment that can be used by people
  101. Netherlands
    a constitutional monarchy in western Europe on the North Sea
  102. neutrality
    nonparticipation in a dispute or war
  103. Norway
    a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe on the western side of the Scandinavian Peninsula; achieved independence from Sweden in 1905
  104. olive
    small ovoid fruit of the European olive tree
  105. Paris
    the capital and largest city of France
  106. parliament
    a legislative assembly in certain countries
  107. peat
    partially carbonized vegetable matter saturated with water
  108. peninsula
    a large mass of land projecting into a body of water
  109. petroleum
    a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
  110. piazza
    a public square with room for pedestrians
  111. plain
    an extensive tract of level, open land
  112. pope
    the head of the Roman Catholic Church
  113. port
    where people and merchandise can enter or leave a country
  114. Portugal
    a republic in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula
  115. postindustrial
    of or relating to a society or economy marked by a lessened importance of manufacturing and an increase of services, information, and research
  116. pound
    the basic unit of money in Great Britain and Northern Ireland; equal to 100 pence
  117. prairie
    a treeless grassy plain
  118. precipitation
    the falling to earth of any form of water
  119. prime minister
    head of government, especially of a parliamentary democracy
  120. Protestantism
    the theological system of any of the churches of western Christendom that separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation
  121. Pyrenees
    a chain of mountains between France and Spain
  122. raw material
    material suitable for manufacture or use or finishing
  123. recession
    a situation in which the state of the economy declines
  124. 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
  125. refugee
    an exile who flees for safety
  126. region
    a large indefinite location on the surface of the Earth
  127. Renaissance
    period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages
  128. reunification
    the act of coming together again
  129. revolution
    the overthrow of a government by those who are governed
  130. Rhine River
    a major European river carrying more traffic than any other river in the world; flows into the North Sea
  131. Roman Catholicism
    the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church based in Rome
  132. Rome
    capital and largest city of Italy
  133. 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
  134. seafaring
    the work of a sailor
  135. Seine River
    a French river that flows through the heart of Paris and then northward into the English Channel
  136. solar energy
    energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy
  137. Spain
    a parliamentary monarchy in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula; a former colonial power
  138. standard of living
    the level of material goods and services available
  139. Strait of Gibraltar
    the strait between Spain and Africa
  140. strip mining
    the mining of ore or coal from an open mine
  141. Sweden
    a Scandinavian kingdom in the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula
  142. Switzerland
    a landlocked federal republic in central Europe
  143. technology
    the practical application of science to commerce or industry
  144. textile
    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting fibers
  145. textile mill
    a factory for making textiles
  146. Thames River
    the longest river in England
  147. timber
    the wood of trees prepared for use as building material
  148. tourism
    the business of providing services to travelers for pleasure
  149. trade
    the commercial exchange of goods and services
  150. tundra
    a vast treeless plain where subsoil is permanently frozen
  151. turbine
    an engine that causes a bladed rotor to rotate
  152. unemployment
    the state of not having a job
  153. unification
    the act of making or becoming a single entity
  154. union
    the state of being joined or united or linked
  155. 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
  156. urbanization
    the social process whereby cities grow
  157. Vatican City
    the capital of the State of the Vatican City
  158. Vienna
    the capital and largest city of Austria
  159. Viking
    any of the Scandinavian people who raided the coasts of Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries
  160. volcano
    a fissure in the earth's crust through which gases erupt
  161. 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
  162. waltz
    music composed in triple time
  163. 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.
  164. 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
  165. World War II
    a war between the Allies and the Axis from 1939 to 1945
Created on March 1, 2017 (updated March 31, 2017)

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