[at-uh-muh n]

noun, plural at·a·mans.

the elected chief of a Cossack village or military force.

Origin of ataman

1825–35; < Russian atamán, Old Russian vatamanŭ, probably alteration of a Turkic word with the personal suffix -man; identity of initial element disputed Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ataman

Contemporary Examples of ataman

  • The decision maker turned out to be a gray-haired Cossack ataman, or commander, in a traditional sheepskin hat.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Held at Gunpoint by Ukraine Rebels

    Anna Nemtsova

    May 31, 2014

Historical Examples of ataman

British Dictionary definitions for ataman


noun plural -mans

an elected leader of the Cossacks; hetman

Word Origin for ataman

from Russian, from Polish hetman, from German Hauptmann (literally: head man)
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