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or menshevik

[men-shuh-vik; Russian myin-shi-vyeek] /ˈmɛn ʃə vɪk; Russian myɪn ʃɪˈvyik/
noun, plural Mensheviks, Mensheviki
[men-shuh-vik-ee, -vee-kee; Russian myin-shi-vyi-kyee] /ˈmɛn ʃəˌvɪk i, -ˌvi ki; Russian myɪn ʃɪ vyɪˈkyi/ (Show IPA)
a member of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party in opposition to the Bolsheviks: advocated gradual development of full socialism through parliamentary government and cooperation with bourgeois parties; absorbed into the Communist party formed in 1918.
Origin of Menshevik
1905-10; < Russian menʾshevík, equivalent to ménʾsh(iĭ) lesser (comparative of málenʾkiĭ small; compare menʾshinstvó minority) + -evik, variant of -ovik noun suffix
Related forms
[men-shuh-viz-uh m] /ˈmɛn ʃəˌvɪz əm/ (Show IPA),
Menshevist, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Menshevik


a member of the moderate wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party, advocating gradual reform to achieve socialism Compare Bolshevik
Derived Forms
Menshevism, noun
Word Origin
C20: from Russian, literally: minority, from menshe less, from malo few
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 Menshevik

1907, from Russian men'shevik, from men'she "lesser" (comparative of malo "little," from PIE root *mei- "small;" see minus) + -evik "one that is." So called by Lenin because they were a minority in the party. Earlier used in reference to the minority faction of the Social-Democratic Party, when it split in 1903. As a noun from 1917. Russian plural mensheviki occasionally was used in English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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