from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • A region of Moldova and western Ukraine. As the gateway from Russia into the Danube River valley, it was for centuries an invasion route from Asia to Europe. The region became part of Russia in 1812 but declared itself independent in 1918 and later voted for union with Romania, which was forced to cede it to the USSR in 1940.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west. Now divided between Moldova and Ukraine.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Romanian Basarabia (cf. Ukrainian Бессарабія), after the royal House of Basarab.


  • In the South, the Soviet Union's interest and German lack of interest in Bessarabia, a part of Romania, were acknowledged.

    Poland: New Elections, Modern History?

  • The Turks have noticed how on each occasion, of which Bessarabia is a recent instance, before the Germans come in, the country is threatened by the Russians, as was Northern Scandinavia through Finland.

    The Empire at War in the Moslem Mediterranean

  • I know the Hungarians, and the people in Bessarabia and how the people there opposed to the present regime try to drag Rumania into a war, hoping to get rid of Rumania this way.

    The Present Situation in the Balkans

  • "Our strength comes from our ties with Russia," proclaims a giant sign near a downtown square named for a Russian general, Alexander Suvorov, who helped drive Turkish forces from Moldova, known as Bessarabia at the time, in the 18th century.

    In This Tiny Land, Some Wish They Were Back in the U.S.S.R.

  • He recognized the historical Russian interest in that part of southeastern Europe known as Bessarabia, which after 1919 had been incorporated into Romania.


  • My grandparents had emigrated from a part of Russia then known as Bessarabia to escape the persecution of the Jews.

    Healed by Horses

  • He took advantage then of the temporary absence of their army in the west, and descended upon their homes in the region now known as Bessarabia and massacred all their wives and children.


  • In the 19th century, Moldova was called Bessarabia and was ruled by the Russian Empire.

    Russia Blog

  • "Bessarabia," was part of Romania until the Soviet forces occupied it.


  • Slogans at the rallies on April 6 and 7 included chants about "Bessarabia" uniting with Romania.

    Jamestown Foundation: All Publications


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.