[ 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/.
- a member of the more radical majority of the Social Democratic Party, 1903–17, advocating immediate and forceful seizure of power by the proletariat.
- (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.
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
OTHER WORDS FROM Bolshevikan·ti-Bol·she·vik, noun, adjectivenon-Bol·she·vik, nounpro-Bol·she·vik, adjective, noun
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for bolshevik
/ (ˈbɒlʃɪvɪk) /
noun plural -viks or -viki (-ˈviːkɪ)
(formerly) a Russian CommunistCompare Menshevik
(often not capital) jocular, derogatory any political radical, esp a revolutionary
Derived forms of BolshevikBolshevism, 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