/dun"kerrk/, n.
1. French, Dunkerque /dueonn kerddk"/. a seaport in N France: site of the evacuation of a British expeditionary force of over 330,000 men under German fire May 29-June 4, 1940. 83,759.
2. a period of crisis or emergency when drastic measures must be enforced: The smaller nations were facing a financial Dunkirk.
3. a city in W New York, on Lake Erie. 15,310.

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      town, seaport, in the Nord département, Nord-Pas-de-Calais région, northern France. It lies along the Strait of Dover between Calais and the Belgian frontier, 49 miles (79 km) northwest of Lille by road. First mentioned in 1067 as Dunkerk (Flemish: “Church of the Dunes”), the town was besieged and sacked six times during the Middle Ages and was in the centre of conflicts between France, Spain, England, and Holland in the 16th and 17th centuries before it was finally recovered by France in 1662. Louis XIV had important fortifications built there to make it a safe base for Jean Bart (Bart, Jean) and other famous French corsairs who pillaged foreign ships. Forced to demolish the fortifications by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, France was not allowed to rebuild them until the late 18th century.

      During World War II, in May–June 1940, the British Expeditionary Force and other Allied troops, cut off by the Germans, were evacuated from Dunkirk to England by naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats. The town was liberated by the U.S. Army in May 1945, but more than three-quarters of its houses were destroyed in the fighting.

      The town was subsequently rebuilt on a new plan, with the spacious Place Jean Bart in the centre. Near that square is a belfry, 131 feet (40 metres) high, that was built in the 15th century and restored after severe damage by fire in 1940. It was originally the western tower of the Gothic Church of Saint-Eloi (damaged in World Wars I and II) but was separated from it by a street in the 18th century. The town museum, also partly destroyed in 1940, has preserved a collection of 17th-century paintings by minor Dutch masters.

      Dunkirk's great artificial port was largely rebuilt after 1945 and subsequently expanded to form a deepwater port and industrial zone to the west of the town. The port itself is capable of accepting 300,000-ton vessels and is the third largest complex in France (after Marseille and Le Havre) in terms of the amount of traffic handled. Imports dominate and include iron ore, coking coal, and crude and refined oil. The principal exports are refined oil products and cereals. The industrial zone has become the site of a series of heavy industries, including steel, oil-refining, petrochemical, and aluminum production. More-recent diversification has led to the development of pharmaceuticals and the production of cans for the beverage industry. The old port zone near the centre of the town, following the closure of the shipyards, has been redeveloped, with retailing, a maritime museum, and a marina. Dunkirk's service sector is still underdeveloped, although the port has stimulated the growth of transport-related activities, and the town is home to a branch of the Opal Coast University, located in the former docklands. Pop. (2004 est.) 70,700.

 city and port, Chautauqua county, western New York, U.S. It lies along Lake Erie (Erie, Lake), just north of Fredonia and 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Buffalo. First settled about 1805, it was known as Chadwick's Bay but was renamed because of the supposed similarity of its harbour to that of Dunkirk (Dunkerque), France. The opening of the Erie Canal (1825) and the arrival of the Erie Railroad (Erie Railroad Company) (1851; now part of the Consolidated Rail Corporation) stimulated Dunkirk's growth. It developed commercial fishing, shipped agricultural products (particularly Concord grapes), and acquired diversified industry (now chiefly stainless steel). Dunkirk was the birthplace (1871) of Samuel Hopkins Adams (Adams, Samuel Hopkins), the noted author-journalist. A lighthouse, built on the shore of Lake Erie in 1875, now houses a museum. Inc. village, 1837; city, 1880. Pop. (1990) 13,989; (2000) 13,131.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Dunkirk, IN — U.S. city in Indiana Population (2000): 2646 Housing Units (2000): 1214 Land area (2000): 1.125298 sq. miles (2.914509 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.125298 sq. miles (2.914509 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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  • Dunkirk — (spr. Dönnkerk), Postort im Städtischen Bezirk Pomfret des Districts Buffalo Creek in der Grafschaft Chautauque des Staates New York (Nordamerika) am Erie See u. der New York Erie Eisenbahn, malerische Lage, außerordentlich gesundes Klima, Hafen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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  • Dunkirk — (spr. dönnkörk), Stadt im nordamerik. Staate Neuyork, am Eriesee, (1900) 11.616 E.; guter Hafen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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