Scheldt (Flem. Schelde; Fr. Escaut; anc. Scaldis), a river of France, Belgium, and Holland, having its source in a small lake near St. Quentin in the French department of Aisne. It first flows N. by Cambrai to Condé, then N. W. to the frontiers of West Flanders, Belgium, then N. N. E. between that province and Hainaut into East Flanders, E. through the latter province after passing Ghent, then N., forming the boundary between Antwerp and East Flanders, and finally turns W. by N., and enters the North sea in the Dutch province of Zealand by two broad mouths called the Hond or West Scheldt (the main stream) and the East Scheldt, enclosing the islands of North and South Beveland and Walcheren. The lower part is bordered with dikes. Its principal tributaries are the Heine, Dender, and Rupel on the right, and the Sensée, Scarpe, and Lys on the left. The chief towns on its banks, besides those named, are Valenciennes, Tournay, Oudenarde, Dendermonde, and Antwerp. Its, length is 211 m., and it is navigable to within a few miles of its source.
The canal of St. Quentin, 50 m. long, connects it with the Somme and the Oise.