The name was said to have signified 'the country of Balar', and to have been given at first to the lands about the mouths of Sirion that faced the Isle of Balar. Later the name spread to include all the ancient coast of the Northwest of Middle-earth south of the Firth of Drengist, and all the inner lands south of Hithlum and eastwards to the feet of the Blue Mountains, divided by the river Sirion into East and West Beleriand.
   Beleriand was broken in the turmoils at the end of the First Age, and invaded by the sea, so that only Ossiriand (Lindon) remained.
   The Country of Balar.
   Subcontinent in the northwest of Middle-earth, bounded to the north and east by mountain chains, and to the south and west by the Great Sea, Beleriand and the lands to the north were the setting for much of the Silmarillion. Originally, the name 'Beleriand' applied only to the country around the Bay of Balar, but as time passed the name came to be given to the entire land. In the final battle that saw the ultimate defeat of Morgoth, Beleriand was broken and destroyed - only parts of Ossiriand in the east remained, to be renamed Lindon in later ages.

J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary. . 2003.

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