[si-lee-zhuh, -shuh, sahy-]


a region in central Europe along both banks of the upper Oder River, mainly in SW Poland and the N Czech Republic: formerly divided between Germany (which had the largest portion), Poland, and Czechoslovakia; by provision of the Potsdam agreement 1945, the greater part of German Silesia came under Polish administration; rich deposits of coal, iron, and other minerals.

German Schlesien.Polish Śląsk.Czech Slezsko.
Related formsSi·le·sian, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for silesian

Historical Examples of silesian

British Dictionary definitions for silesian



of or relating to Silesia or its inhabitants


a native or inhabitant of Silesia



a twill-weave fabric of cotton or other fibre, used esp for pockets, linings, etc

Word Origin for silesia

C17: Latinized form of German Schlesien Silesia



a region of central Europe around the upper and middle Oder valley: mostly annexed by Prussia in 1742 but became almost wholly Polish in 1945; rich coal and iron-ore depositsPolish name: Śląsk Czech name: Slezsko German name: Schlesien
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 silesian


former eastern German province, now southwestern Poland, from Latinized form of German Schliesen (Polish Slask), from the name of a river and a mountain there, from Silingi or Silingae, name of a Vandalic (Germanic) people who supposedly had a religious center at the mountain. Related: Silesian. In reference to cloth imported from there from 1670s, especially "a thin cotton cloth, commonly twilled, used for linings for women's dresses and men's garments."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper