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[krem-lin] /ˈkrɛm lɪn/
the Kremlin.
  1. the executive branch of the government of Russia or of the Soviet Union, especially in regard to its foreign affairs.
  2. the citadel of Moscow, including within its walls the chief offices of the Russian and, formerly, of the Soviet government.
Origin of Kremlin
1655-65; earlier Kremelien < German (now obsolete) < an unattestested outcome of Old Russian *kremlĭnĭ, derivative of kremlĭ (Russian kremlʾ, gen kremlyá) citadel, akin to Old Russian Kromŭ the citadel of Pskov, Ukrainian króma partition, Russian kromá, krómka edge, border Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Kremlin


the citadel of any Russian city
Word Origin
C17: from obsolete German Kremelin, from Russian kreml


the 12th-century citadel in Moscow, containing the former Imperial Palace, three Cathedrals, and the offices of the Russian government
(formerly) the central government of the Soviet Union
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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Word Origin and History for Kremlin

1660s, Cremelena, from Old Russian kremlinu, later kremlin (1796), from kreml' "citadel, fortress," perhaps of Tartar origin. Originally the citadel of any Russian city, now especially the one in Moscow. Used metonymically for "government of the U.S.S.R." from 1933. The modern form of the word in English might be via French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Kremlin in Culture

Kremlin definition

A fortress in central Moscow that contains the central offices of the government of Russia and, formerly, the offices of the Soviet Union.

Note: The term Kremlin was also used figuratively to mean the former Soviet government.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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