Sluis slois [key], municipality, Zeeland prov., SW Netherlands, on the Scheldt estuary, near the Belgian border. Sluis was founded in the 13th cent. and later accorded trading privileges to the Hanseatic League . In 1340, Edward III of England defeated the fleet of Philip VI of France off nearby Terneuzen in the first important engagement of the Hundred Years War . Sluis fell to the Spanish in 1587 and was recovered by the Dutch in 1604. It subsequently lost importance as a port. It is also known by its French name, L'Écluse. The Dutch name was formerly spelled Sluys.

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