[ah-puh-rah-chik; Russian uh-puh-raht-chyik]
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noun, plural ap·pa·rat·chiks; Russian ap·pa·rat·chi·ki [uh-puh-raht-chyi-kyee] /ʌ pʌˈrɑt tʃyɪ kyi/.
  1. a member of an apparat, especially in a Communist country.

Origin of apparatchik

1940–45; < Russian apparátchik, equivalent to apparát apparat + -chik agent suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of apparatchik

British Dictionary definitions for apparatchik


  1. a member of a Communist apparat
  2. an official or bureaucrat in any organization

Word Origin for apparatchik

C20 from Russian, from apparat apparatus, instrument + -ckik, suffix denoting agent
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

Word Origin and History for apparatchik

"Communist agent or spy," 1941, originally in writings of Arthur Koestler, from Russian, from apparat "political organization" (see apparat). Russian plural is apparatchiki.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper