From Middle English hanse, from Old French hanse (“guild; guild fee”), from Medieval Latin hansa, from Old High German hansa and Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌽𐍃𐌰 (hansa, “company or band of soldiers; a gang of men”), both cognate with Old English hōs (“company, retinue, escorts”), all believed to derive from Proto-Germanic *hansō (“gathering; coalition; gang of men”) or Proto-Indo-European *ḱómsōd (“union; gathering”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱóm (“beside, by, with, along”) + *sed- (“to sit”). In reference to the Hanseatic League, via German Hanse.
Hanse (plural Hanses)
- (historical) A merchant guild, particularly the Fellowship of London Merchants (the "Old Hanse") given a monopoly on London's foreign trade by the Normans or its successor, the Company of Merchant Adventurers (the "New Hanse"), incorporated in 1497 and chartered under Henry VII and Elizabeth I.
- (historical) The rights and privileges of such guilds, particularly their trade monopolies.
- (historical) A commercial association of Scottish free burghs in the Middle Ages.
- (historical) The Hanseatic League: a commercial association of German towns in the Middle Ages.
- (historical) Alternative form of , the fees payable to a Hanse or its guildhall.
In reference to the cities of the Hanseatic League taken collectively, used as "the Hanses".
- (merchant guild): See guild
- (league of German cities): See Hanseatic League
- (fees or residence): See hanse and guildhall
From Middle High German hanse (“guild”), from Old High German hansa (“group; community; guild”), from Proto-Germanic *hansō. The modern specification of these sense follows Middle Low German hanse (“guild; Hanseatic League”), which is itself an early borrowing from Middle High German.
Hanse f (genitive Hanse, plural Hansen)
- (historical) a kind of commercial, and sometimes military, confederation of cities in the later Middle Ages; in particular the Hanseatic League of northern Germany
- (by analogy) any similar confederation based first and foremost on commercial interests