[brest; for 2 also Russian bryest]
  1. a seaport in the W extremity of France: German submarine base in World War II; surrendered to Allies September 1944.
  2. Formerly Brest Litovsk. a city in SW Byelorussia (Belarus), on the Bug River: formerly in Poland; German-Russian peace treaty 1918. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for brest


  1. a port in NW France, in Brittany: chief naval station of the country, planned by Richelieu in 1631 and fortified by Vauban. Pop: 149 634 (1999)
  2. a city in SW Belarus: Polish until 1795 and from 1921 to 1945. Pop: 299 000 (2005 est)Former name (until 1921): Brest Litovsk (brɛst liˈtɔfsk) Polish name: Brześć nad Bugiem
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 brest


city in France, from Celtic, from bre "hill." The city in Belarus is from Slavic berest "elm." Part of Lithuania from 1319, it thus was known, for purposes of distinguishing them, as Brest Litovsk until 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper