a suffix of nouns that refer, usually derogatorily, to persons who support or are concerned or associated with a particular political cause or group, cultural attitude, or the like: beatnik, filmnik; no-goodnik; peacenik.
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Origin of -nik
< Yiddish (cf. nudnik) < Slavic: a personal suffix in Slavic languages in contact with Yiddish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for -nik
suffix forming nouns
denoting a person associated with a specified state, belief, or qualitybeatnik; refusenik
Word Origin for -nik
C20: from Russian -nik, as in Sputnik, and influenced by Yiddish -nik (agent suffix)
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