[bawl-kuh n]


pertaining to the Balkan States or their inhabitants.
pertaining to the Balkan Peninsula.
pertaining to the Balkan Mountains.


the Balkans. Balkan States.

Origin of Balkan

First recorded in 1825–35
Related formsBal·kan·ite, noun, adjectivetrans-Bal·kan, adjective

Balkan States

plural noun

the countries in the Balkan Peninsula: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and the European part of Turkey.
Also called the Balkans. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for balkans

Contemporary Examples of balkans

Historical Examples of balkans

  • Remind me of the people who live about the foothills of the Balkans.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • Then Fenton had gone to the Balkans, on a flying trip in every sense of the word.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • From the heights of the lower Balkans—as at Sopot—we could see the horizon red.

    The Making Of A Novelist

    David Christie Murray

  • The Balkans are apt to have strange effects on the traveller.


    Frank Fox

  • So far, then, the answer to the question, "Why are the Balkans so often at war?"


    Frank Fox

British Dictionary definitions for balkans



of, denoting, or relating to the Balkan States or their inhabitants, the Balkan Peninsula, or the Balkan Mountains

Balkan States

pl n

the countries of the Balkan Peninsula: the former Yugoslavian Republics, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and the European part of TurkeyAlso called: the Balkans
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 balkans


probably from Turkic balkan "mountain."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

balkans in Culture


Major mountain range of the Balkan Peninsula, extending from the eastern portion of the former Yugoslavia through central Bulgaria to the Black Sea.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.