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[mer-uh-vin-jee-uh n, -juh n]
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  1. of or relating to the Frankish dynasty established by Clovis, which reigned in Gaul and Germany from a.d. 476 to 751.
  1. a member or supporter of the Merovingian dynasty.

Origin of Merovingian

1685–95; < French mérovingien, equivalent to méroving- (< Medieval Latin < Germanic; compare Old English Merewīowing offspring of Merewig, grandfather of Clovis) + -ien -ian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for merovingian

Historical Examples

  • It was a pity, I reflected, that we did not live in Merovingian times.

    The Belovd Vagabond

    William J. Locke

  • These Merovingian kings were as greedy and licentious as they were cruel.

  • The barracks at No. 20 are on the site of ruins of the old Merovingian castle.

    Historic Paris

    Jetta S. Wolff

  • The cemetery on the northern side dates from the time of the Merovingian kings.

    Historic Paris

    Jetta S. Wolff

  • Merovingian remains were found beneath the surface on this part of the quay in 1906.

    Historic Paris

    Jetta S. Wolff

British Dictionary definitions for merovingian


  1. of or relating to a Frankish dynasty founded by Clovis I, which ruled Gaul and W Germany from about 500 to 751 ad
  1. a member or supporter of this dynasty

Word Origin

C17: from French, from Medieval Latin Merovingi offspring of Merovaeus, Latin form of Merowig, traditional founder of the line
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for merovingian



1690s, from French Mérovingien, from Medieval Latin Merovingi, "descendants of Meroveus," (mythical?) ancestor of the line of Frankish kings in Gaul (c.500-752) beginning with Clovis; Merovingi is a Latinization of his Germanic name (cf. Old High German Mar-wig "famed-fight") with the Germanic patronymic suffix -ing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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