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[at-uh-muh n] /ˈæt ə mən/
noun, plural atamans.
the elected chief of a Cossack village or military force.
Origin of ataman
1825-35; < Russian atamán, Old Russian vatamanŭ, probably alteration of a Turkic word with the personal suffix -man; identity of initial element disputed Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ataman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The common saying, "Bear patiently, Cossack; you will one day be ataman!"

    Russia Donald Mackenzie Wallace
  • In a moment we found ourselves surrounded by them, while a path in front was stopped by the ataman.

  • If I had not entered into conversation with the ataman, we should have been riddled with balls at the first movement.

  • The younger is the ataman himself; the elder is his father, an old soldier of the first campaigns of Nicholas.

    The Galaxy Various
  • But Sinbad, being a man of humane temper, thinks that the sport has gone far enough, and appeals to the ataman to stop it.

    The Galaxy Various
  • The title of “ataman” or “hetman of all the Cossacks” is held by the Cesarevitch.

  • If he is successful he takes the ataman place, and holds it until some one else dislodges him.

    Tramping with Tramps Josiah Flynt
  • I should have had to knuckle down very submissively to some ataman, or bully, and this I was not willing to do.

    Tramping with Tramps Josiah Flynt
  • They live there in dirty little cabins and underground caves, a close community with its ataman and common funds.

    Tramping with Tramps Josiah Flynt
British Dictionary definitions for ataman


noun (pl) -mans
an elected leader of the Cossacks; hetman
Word Origin
from Russian, from Polish hetman, from German Hauptmann (literally: head man)
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
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