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Bolshevik

or bol·she·vik

[bohl-shuh-vik, bol-; Russian buh l-shi-vyeek]
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noun, plural Bol·she·viks, Bol·she·vik·i [bohl-shuh-vik-ee, -vee-kee; Russian buh l-shi-vyi-kyee] /ˈboʊl ʃəˌvɪk i, -ˌvi ki; Russian bəl ʃɪ vyɪˈkyi/.
  1. (in Russia)
    1. a member of the more radical majority of the Social Democratic Party, 1903–17, advocating immediate and forceful seizure of power by the proletariat.
    2. (after 1918) a member of the Russian Communist Party.
  2. (loosely) a member of any Communist party.
  3. (often lowercase) Disparaging. a contemptuous term used to refer to an extreme radical or revolutionary.
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Origin of Bolshevik

1915–20; < Russian bolʾshevík, equivalent to bólʾsh(iĭ) larger, greater (comparative of bolʾshóĭ large; compare bolʾshinstvó majority) + -evik, variant of -ovik noun suffix; cf. Menshevik
Related formsan·ti-Bol·she·vik, noun, adjectivenon-Bol·she·vik, nounpro-Bol·she·vik, adjective, noun

Usage note

When Bolshevik is used to refer to an extreme radical, it implies that such a person has a strongly felt subversive or combative ideology counter to the status quo. The 20-century poets T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound were called literary Bolsheviks by a writer in a London newspaper.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for anti-bolshevik

Historical Examples

  • Everybody knew that the Government was helping the anti-Bolshevik forces last year.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 14th, 1920

    Various


British Dictionary definitions for anti-bolshevik

anti-Bolshevik

noun
  1. a person who is opposed to Bolshevism
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adjective
  1. opposed to Bolshevismanti-Bolshevik propaganda
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Bolshevik

noun plural -viks or -viki (-ˈviːkɪ)
  1. (formerly) a Russian CommunistCompare Menshevik
  2. any Communist
  3. (often not capital) jocular, derogatory any political radical, esp a revolutionary
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Derived FormsBolshevism, nounBolshevist, adjective, nounBolshevistic, adjective

Word Origin

C20: from Russian Bol'shevik majority, from bol'shoi great; from the fact that this group formed a majority of the Russian Social Democratic Party in 1903
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for anti-bolshevik

Bolshevik

n.

1917, from Russian bol'shiy "greater," comparative of adjective bol'shoy "big, great" (cf. Bolshoi Ballet), from Old Church Slavonic boljiji "larger," from PIE root *bel- "strong" (cf. Sanskrit balam "strength, force," Greek beltion "better," Phrygian balaios "big, fast," Old Irish odbal "strong," Welsh balch "proud;" Middle Dutch, Low German, Frisian pal "strong, firm").

It was the faction of the Russian Social Democratic Worker's Party after a split in 1903 that was either larger or more extreme (or both) than the Mensheviks (from Russian men'shij "less"); after they seized power in 1917, applied generally to Russian communists. Bolshevism is recorded from 1917.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper