The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
An island of northeast Germany in the Baltic Sea. Separated from the mainland by a narrow channel, it was seized by Denmark in 1168, passed to Pomerania in 1325 and to Sweden in 1648, and became part of Prussia in 1815.