What does Prussia mean?

Definitions for Prussia
ˈprʌʃ əprus·si·a

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Prussia.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Prussia, Preussennoun

    a former kingdom in north-central Europe including present-day northern Germany and northern Poland

    "in the 19th century Prussia led the economic and political unification of the German states"


  1. Prussianoun

    A geographical area on the Baltic coast of northeastern Europe.

  2. Prussianoun

    A former Baltic country, annihilated by the Teutonic Order and absorbed by Germany.

  3. Prussianoun

    A German province that was the predecessor to, and a member of, the German Empire; erased at the end of the Second World War.

  4. Etymology: From the New Latin 'Prussia', the Latin form used by Peter of Dusburg for the name of the region in the now-extinct language of its Baltic inhabitants, 'Prūsa'.


  1. Prussia

    Prussia, known in German as Preußen, was one of, if not the, most prominent German states of its time, located on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire when it united the German states in 1871. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, expanding its size with the Prussian Army. Prussia, with its capital at Königsberg and then, when it became the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, Prussian Minister-President Otto von Bismarck united most German principalities into the German Empire under his leadership, although this was considered to be a "Lesser Germany" because Austria and Switzerland were not included. In November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19. The Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, a state of Germany from 1918 until 1933. From 1932, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup and the Nazi Gleichschaltung laws, which established a unitary state. Its legal status finally ended in 1947.The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians; in the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights—an organized Catholic medieval military order of German crusaders—conquered the lands inhabited by them. In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Danzig (modern-day Gdańsk). Their monastic state was mostly Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany, and, in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The imposed Second Peace of Thorn (1466) split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, becoming a province of Poland, and the eastern part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia, a feudal fief of the Crown of Poland up to 1657. The union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom. It became increasingly large and powerful in the 18th and 19th centuries. It had a major voice in European affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great (1740–1786). At the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleon's defeat, Prussia acquired rich new territories, including the coal-rich Ruhr. The country then grew rapidly in influence economically and politically, and became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, and then of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians. The Kingdom ended in 1918 along with other German monarchies that were terminated by the German Revolution. In the Weimar Republic, the Free State of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. Subsequently, it was effectively dismantled into Nazi German Gaue in 1935. Nevertheless, some Prussian ministries were kept and Hermann Göring remained in his role as Minister President of Prussia until the end of World War II. Former eastern territories of Germany that made up a significant part of Prussia lost the majority of their German population after 1945 as the Polish People's Republic and the Soviet Union both absorbed these territories and had most of its German inhabitants expelled by 1950. Prussia, deemed "a bearer of militarism and reaction" by the Allies, was officially abolished by an Allied declaration in 1947. The international status of the former eastern territories of the Kingdom of Prussia was disputed until the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany in 1990, but its return to Germany remains a cause among far-right politicians, the Federation of Expellees and various political revanchists and irredentists. The terms "Prussian" and "Prussianism" have often been used, especially outside Germany, to denote the militarism, military professionalism, aggressiveness, and conservatism of the Junker class of landed aristocrats in the East who dominated first Prussia and then the German Empire.


  1. prussia

    Prussia was a historic state originating in Europe, originating as a duchy in the 16th century and later becoming a kingdom in the 18th century. It was a major driving force in the unification of Germany in 1871 under its chancellor Otto von Bismarck, after which it was the leading state of the German Empire until it lost its distinctness under the Weimar Republic in 1918. The territory of Prussia spanned parts of present-day Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Belgium, Czech Republic, and other countries.


  1. Prussia

    Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history of Germany, with its capital in Berlin after 1451. In 1871, German states joined in creating the German Empire under Prussian leadership. In November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power. Prussia was effectively abolished in 1932, and officially abolished in 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians. In the 13th century, "Old Prussia" was conquered by German crusaders, the Teutonic Knights. In 1308, Teutonic Knights conquered the formerly Polish region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk. Their monastic state was mostly Germanized through immigration from central and western Germany and in the south, it was Polonized by settlers from Masovia. After the Second Peace of Thorn of 1466, Prussia was split into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, and the eastern part, since 1525 called Duchy of Prussia, a fief of the Crown of Poland up to 1657. The union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Prussia

    the leading State of the German Empire, occupies about two-thirds of the imperial territory, and contributes three-fifths of the population; it stretches from Holland and Belgium in the W. to Russia in the E., has Jutland and the sea on the N., and Lorraine, Bavaria, Hesse-Darmstadt, Saxony, and Austria on the S.; the SW. portion is hilly and the soil often poor, but containing valuable mineral deposits; the N. and E. belongs to the great European plain, devoted to agriculture and grazing; Hesse-Cassel is extremely fertile, and Nassau produces excellent wine; in the E. and in Hanover are extensive forests; Silesia, Westphalia, and Rhenish Prussia contain the chief coal-fields, and are consequently the chief industrial provinces; half the zinc of the world is mined in Prussia; lead, iron, copper, antimony, &c., are also wrought; the Hartz Mountains are noted for their mines; Salt, amber, and precious stones are found on the Baltic shores; textiles, metal wares, and beer are the main industries; Berlin and Elberfeld are the two chief manufacturing centres on the Continent; the great navigable rivers, Niemen, Vistula, Oder, Elbe, Weser, Rhine, and their tributaries and canals, excellent railways, and her central European position all favour Prussia's commerce, while her coast-line, harbours, and growing mercantile fleet put her in communication with the markets of the world; seven-eighths of the people are Germans; Slavonic races are represented by Poles, Wends, Lithuanians, and Czechs, while the Danes appear in Schleswig-Holstein; the prevailing religion is Protestant; education is compulsory and good; there are ten universities, and many great libraries and educational institutions; the Prussian is the largest contingent in the German army; the king of Prussia is emperor of Germany. The basis of the Prussian people was laid by German colonists placed amid the pagan Slavs whom they had conquered by the Teutonic knights of the 13th century; in 1511 their descendants chose a Hohenzollern prince; a century later the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg succeeded; despite the Thirty Years' War Prussia became a European State, and was recognised as a kingdom in 1703; Frederick the Great (1740-1786) enlarged its bounds and developed its resources; the successive partitions of Poland added to her territory; humiliated by the peace of Tilsit 1807, and ruined by the French occupation, she recovered after Waterloo; William I. and Bismarck still further increased her territory and prestige; by the Austrian War of 1866 and the French War of 1870-71 her position as premier State in the German Confederation was assured.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Prussia

    Former state in north central Germany. Formally abolished March 1, 1947. Kingdom established 1701.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. prussia

    A kingdom of the new German empire. The people of Prussia first appear in history in the 10th century, under the name of Borussi; from these the country derives its name. Some historians, however, derive the name from Po, signifying near, and Russia. The Prussians were subjected by Boleslaus of Poland in 1018; they made a successful stand against Boleslaus IV. of Poland in 1161, and for a time maintained a rude and savage kind of independence. The Teutonic Knights were engaged in war for half a century with the people,—winning lands and souls by hard fighting,—until at length, in 1283, they found themselves undisputed masters of the country, having almost exterminated the pagan population. During this period the knights founded many cities and repeopled the country with German colonists. In 1454 the municipal and noble classes, with the co-operation of Poland, rose in open rebellion against the knights, who were forced to cede West Prussia and Ermland to Poland. Albert (or Albrecht) of Brandenburg was acknowledged duke of East Prussia in 1525; his son-in-law, John Sigismund, created elector of Brandenburg and duke of Prussia in 1608. The reign of John Sigismund’s successor, Georg-Wilhelm (1619-1640), was distracted by the miseries of the Thirty Years’ War, and the country was alternately the prey of Swedish and imperial armies. The electorate was raised by the genius of Frederick William, the great elector, to the rank of a great European power. His successor, Frederick III. (1688-1713), was proclaimed king of Prussia by the title of Frederick I. in 1701. During the reign of Frederick William IV., Prussia co-operated powerfully in putting down the insurrections in Poland and Baden. In the war of the Schleswig-Holstein duchies, the Prussians acted in concert with the disaffected against their sovereign, the king of Denmark, occupying the ducal provinces in the name and on behalf of the diet. A treaty of peace was concluded between Prussia and Denmark, on July 2, 1850. In 1863 the allied Prussian and Austrian armies entered the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein and defeated the Danes; the duchies were separated from Denmark. Warm disputes with Austria respecting Schleswig-Holstein arose in the beginning of 1866. The vote of the majority of the diet of the Germanic Confederation supported Austria; Prussia announced her withdrawal from the confederation, and its dissolution; the diet declared itself indissoluble, and continued its functions, June 14, 1866. War was declared by Prussia, June 18, 1866, which ended in the total defeat of Austria and her allies. A treaty of peace between Austria and Prussia was signed at Prague on August 23, 1866. By its articles Austria consented to the breaking up of the Germanic Confederation, and to Prussia’s annexing Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Nassau, and Frankfort-on-the-Main, and gave up Holstein and her political influence in North Germany. For further history, see Franco-Prussian War.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Prussia

    A Western corruption of Porussia, which expresses the Slavonic for “near Russia.”

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Prussia is ranked #126765 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Prussia surname appeared 135 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Prussia.

    87.4% or 118 total occurrences were White.
    9.6% or 13 total occurrences were Black.

How to pronounce Prussia?

How to say Prussia in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Prussia in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Prussia in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Prussia

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"Prussia." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Prussia>.

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