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From Old French champaigne, from Latin campānia.



champaign (plural champaigns)

  1. (geography, archaic) Open countryside, or an area of open countryside.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter vj, in Le Morte Darthur, book V:
      And therwith torned theyr horses and rode ouer waters and thurgh woodes tyl they came to theyre busshement / where as syr Lyonel and syr Bedeuer were houyng / The romayns folowed fast after on horsbak and on foote ouer a chāpayn vnto a wood
    • 1605, William Shakespeare, King Lear, I.i:
      Of all these bounds even from this line to this, / With shadowy forests and with champaigns riched, / With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads, / We make thee lady.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069:, II.ii.3:
      So Segrave in Leicestershire [] is sited in a champaign at the edge of the wolds, and more barren than the villages about it, yet no place likely yields a better air.
  2. (obsolete) A battlefield.



champaign (comparative more champaign, superlative most champaign)

  1. Pertaining to open countryside; unforested, flat.
    • , Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.206:
      They are seated alongst the sea-coast, encompassed toward the land with huge and steepie mountains, having betweene both, a hundred leagues or thereabouts of open and champaine ground.

Related terms[edit]