Waterloo, Battle of


A battle in Belgium in 1815 in which the British and Prussians defeated the French under Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon abdicated as emperor a few days after this final defeat, and a few weeks later he was captured and sent into exile. The British were led by Arthur Wellesley, later to be named duke of Wellington; they were joined by Dutch and German soldiers and were greatly aided by the last-minute arrival of fifty thousand troops from the German kingdom of Prussia.

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“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

notes for Waterloo, Battle of

Waterloo has become a general term for a decisive, final defeat.

Words nearby Waterloo, Battle of

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.