Loire, Haute, a department of central France, part of the old duchy of Auvergne and the county of Forez. It contains 1,915 square miles, and is crossed in the N. by the Loire, and N.W. by (he Allier. Most of the department is in the Loire basin, and consists of a plateau deeply, indented by river valleys, and having a cold climate by reason of its height and the winds from the Cevennes. Volcanic action is very apparent, especially in the mountain parts, which belong to the Cevennes, and rise in Mont Mezenc to a height of 5,700 feet. Lace-making is one of the principal industries, others being the manufacture of wool, cotton, flax, silk, gold, and silver. There is much agriculture, and coal and building-stone are worked. The capital is Le Puy.