Cotentin (kôtäNtăNˈ) [key], region of N France, in Normandy, roughly coinciding with the peninsula formed by Manche dept. and extending into the English Channel. Cherbourg is the chief port, and there are numerous fishing ports. The lambs of the Cotentin breed of sheep are highly esteemed for their meat. Cattle are also raised in the region. Much of the land is divided by hedgerows into small fields and apple orchards. An old Norman county, Cotentin takes its name from its historic capital, Coutances.