[ koo-lahk, -lak; koo-lahk, -lak ]

noun(in Russia)
  1. a comparatively wealthy peasant who employed hired labor or possessed farm machinery and who was viewed and treated by the Communists during the drive to collectivize agriculture in the 1920s and 1930s as an oppressor and class enemy.

  2. (before the revolution of 1917) a prosperous, ruthless, and stingy merchant or village usurer.

Origin of kulak

First recorded in 1875–80, kulak is from the Russian word kulák literally, fist

Words Nearby kulak

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use kulak in a sentence

  • Not I, seeing that I have had two and a half roubles per soul squeezed out of me by a brute of a kulak!

    Dead Souls | Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

British Dictionary definitions for kulak


/ (ˈkuːlæk) /

  1. (in Russia after 1906) a member of the class of peasants who became proprietors of their own farms. After the October Revolution the kulaks opposed collectivization of land, but in 1929 Stalin initiated their liquidation

Origin of kulak

C19: from Russian: fist, hence, tightfisted person; related to Turkish kol arm

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