[ ruhsh-uhn ]

  1. of or relating to Russia, its people, or their language.

  1. a native or inhabitant of Russia.

  2. a member of a Slavic people, the dominant ethnic group in the Russian Federation, whose historical homeland lies along the upper Volga and Oka rivers and adjacent areas.

  1. the Slavic language of this people, written in the Cyrillic alphabet: the official language of Russia or the Russian Federation. Abbreviations: Russ, Russ.

  2. Informal. Russian dressing.

Origin of Russian

First recorded in 1530–40; from Medieval Latin Russiānus, derivative of Russia, Latinization of Old East Slavic Rusĭ; see origin at Russ, Russia, -an

Other words from Russian

  • anti-Russian, adjective, noun
  • half-Russian, adjective
  • non-Russian, adjective, noun
  • pro-Russian, adjective, noun
  • pseudo-Russian, adjective, noun
  • semi-Russian, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Russian in a sentence

  • In the later half of the campaign of 1806 he hopelessly failed to make any headway against the Russians east of the Vistula.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • The Russians, on the contrary, prefer orange-yellow transparent specimens.

  • The Russians were drawn up with the Alle at their backs, so that retreat was impossible, and only victory could save them.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • At Krasnoi his feeble corps of six thousand men was surrounded by thirty thousand Russians.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • This punishment kept the Montenegrins quiet for the future, and the Russians fell back on Cattaro.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison

British Dictionary definitions for Russian


/ (ˈrʌʃən) /

  1. the official language of Russia: an Indo-European language belonging to the East Slavonic branch

  2. the official language of the former Soviet Union

  1. a native or inhabitant of Russia

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Russia, its people, or their language

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