- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ataman
The decision maker turned out to be a gray-haired Cossack ataman, or commander, in a traditional sheepskin hat.Held at Gunpoint by Ukraine Rebels
May 31, 2014
The common saying, "Bear patiently, Cossack; you will one day be Ataman!"Russia
Donald Mackenzie Wallace
In a moment we found ourselves surrounded by them, while a path in front was stopped by the Ataman.
If I had not entered into conversation with the Ataman, we should have been riddled with balls at the first movement.
The younger is the Ataman himself; the elder is his father, an old soldier of the first campaigns of Nicholas.
But Sinbad, being a man of humane temper, thinks that the sport has gone far enough, and appeals to the Ataman to stop it.
- an elected leader of the Cossacks; hetman
from Russian, from Polish hetman, from German Hauptmann (literally: head man)