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St. Petersburg

Formerly Leningrad (1924–91)Also called Petrograd (1914–24)a seaport in NW Russian Federation in Europe, in the Gulf of Finland, off the Baltic Sea: founded 1703 by Peter the Great; capital of the Russian Empire (1712-1917).
a city in W Florida, on Tampa Bay.


[ruhsh-uh] /ˈrʌʃ ə/
Also called Russian Empire. Russian Rossiya. a former empire in E Europe and N and W Asia: overthrown by the Russian Revolution 1917.
Capital: St. Petersburg (1703–1917).
Related forms
anti-Russia, adjective
Can be confused
Russia, Soviet Union. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for saint petersburg
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You will take your departure from saint petersburg, and go east or west, which you please.

    Bruin Mayne Reid
  • This is the great market of saint petersburg, or the Gostinnoi dvor.

    Fred Markham in Russia W. H. G. Kingston
  • They are found close up to that mighty city of saint petersburg.

    Fred Markham in Russia W. H. G. Kingston
  • Enrolled or not enrolled, he shall not go to saint petersburg.

    Marie Alexander Pushkin
  • The two principal ones are Moscow and saint petersburg, both of which are capitals.

    Wild Wales George Borrow
  • Then look at her capital, saint petersburg, and see how far from European ports it is.

    A Gallant Grenadier F.S. Brereton
  • That day Marie set out for my father's country-seat, not having even glanced at saint petersburg.

    Marie Alexander Pushkin
  • This worthy widow invited him to saint petersburg, and he slyly wrote to Frederick for advice as to whether he should go or not.

  • Now the public offices at saint petersburg, at all events, are kept fairly clean.

    Fred Markham in Russia W. H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for saint petersburg

Saint Petersburg

a city and port in Russia, on the Gulf of Finland at the mouth of the Neva River: founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built on low-lying marshes subject to frequent flooding; capital of Russia from 1712 to 1918; a cultural and educational centre, with a university (1819); a major industrial centre, with engineering, shipbuilding, chemical, textile, and printing industries. Pop: 5 315 000 (2005 est) Former names (1914–24) Petrograd, (1924–91) Leningrad
a city and resort in W Florida, on Tampa Bay. Pop: 247 610 (2003 est)


the largest country in the world, covering N Eurasia and bordering on the Pacific and Arctic Oceans and the Baltic, Black, and Caspian Seas: originating from the principality of Muscovy in the 17th century, it expanded to become the Russian Empire; the Tsar was overthrown in 1917 and the Communist Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic was created; this merged with neighbouring Soviet Republics in 1922 to form the Soviet Union; on the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 the Russian Federation was established as an independent state. Official language: Russian. Religion: nonreligious and Russian orthodox Christian. Currency: rouble. Capital: Moscow. Pop: 142 500 482 (2013 est). Area: 17 074 984 sq km (6 592 658 sq miles)
another name for the Russian Empire
another name for the former Soviet Union
another name for the former Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Russian name Rossiya
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 saint petersburg


1530s, from Medieval Latin Russi "the people of Russia," from Rus, the native name of the people and the country (cf. Arabic Rus, Medieval Greek Rhos), originally the name of a group of Swedish merchant/warriors who established themselves around Kiev 9c. and founded the original Russian principality; perhaps from Ruotsi, the Finnish name for "Sweden," from Old Norse Roþrslandi, "the land of rowing," old name of Roslagen, where the Finns first encountered the Swedes. This is from Old Norse roðr "steering oar," from Proto-Germanic *rothra- "rudder," from PIE *rot-ro-, from root *ere- (1) "to row" (see row (v.)).

Derivation from the IE root for "red," in reference to hair color, is considered less likely. Russian city-states were founded and ruled by Vikings and their descendants. The Russian form of the name, Rossiya, appears to be from Byzantine Greek Rhosia. Russification is from 1842.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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saint petersburg in Culture

Saint Petersburg definition

City in northwestern Russia, situated at the head of the Gulf of Finland on both banks of the Neva River and on the islands of its delta; the second-largest city in Russia; a major port, and one of the world's leading industrial and cultural centers.

Note: The first Russian city modeled after European cities, it was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, who wanted to make it his “window to the West”; renamed Petrograd at the start of World War I and then Leningrad in 1924 in honor of Lenin.
Note: Because it is so far north, St. Petersburg experiences “white nights” for three weeks in June when the sky never completely darkens.
Note: It is the location of the historic Winter Palace, which was sacked during the Russian Revolution but later became the Hermitage Museum.
Note: With the collapse of communism, the city was renamed St. Petersburg.

Russia definition

A vast nation that stretches from eastern Europe across the Eurasian land mass. It was the most powerful republic of the former Soviet Union; ethnic Russians composed about half of the population. It is the world's largest country. Its capital and largest city is Moscow.

Note: Russia was ruled by czars of the Romanov family from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.
Note: Peter the Great, a czar who reigned in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, attempted to westernize Russian government and culture.
Note: During the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks, under Lenin, took control of the government; communists governed from 1917 until 1991.
Note: Russia now occupies the seat on the Security Council of the United Nations formerly held by the Soviet Union.

St. Petersburg definition

City in western Florida.

Note: A popular winter resort.
Note: Home for many retired persons from colder northern areas.
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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