Bolshevik

or bol·she·vik

[ bohl-shuh-vik, bol-; Russian buh l-shi-vyeek ]
/ ˈboʊl ʃə vɪk, ˈbɒl-; Russian bəl ʃɪˈvyik /

noun, plural Bol·she·viks, Bol·she·vik·i [bohl-shuh-vik-ee, -vee-kee; Russian buh l-shi-vyi-kyee] /ˈboʊl ʃəˌvɪk i, -ˌvi ki; Russian bəl ʃɪ vyɪˈkyi/.

(in Russia)
  1. a member of the more radical majority of the Social Democratic Party, 1903–17, advocating immediate and forceful seizure of power by the proletariat.
  2. (after 1918) a member of the Russian Communist Party.
(loosely) a member of any Communist party.
(often lowercase) Disparaging. a contemptuous term used to refer to an extreme radical or revolutionary.

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Origin of Bolshevik

1915–20; < Russian bolʾshevík, equivalent to bólʾsh(iĭ) larger, greater (comparative of bolʾshóĭ large; compare bolʾshinstvó majority) + -evik, variant of -ovik noun suffix; cf. Menshevik

usage note for Bolshevik

When Bolshevik is used to refer to an extreme radical, it implies that such a person has a strongly felt subversive or combative ideology counter to the status quo. The 20-century poets T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound were called literary Bolsheviks by a writer in a London newspaper.

OTHER WORDS FROM Bolshevik

an·ti-Bol·she·vik, noun, adjectivenon-Bol·she·vik, nounpro-Bol·she·vik, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for bolshevik

Bolshevik
/ (ˈbɒlʃɪvɪk) /

noun plural -viks or -viki (-ˈviːkɪ)

(formerly) a Russian CommunistCompare Menshevik
any Communist
(often not capital) jocular, derogatory any political radical, esp a revolutionary

Derived forms of Bolshevik

Bolshevism, nounBolshevist, adjective, nounBolshevistic, adjective

Word Origin for Bolshevik

C20: from Russian Bol'shevik majority, from bol'shoi great; from the fact that this group formed a majority of the Russian Social Democratic Party in 1903
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