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Menshevik

or men·she·vik

[men-shuh-vik; Russian myin-shi-vyeek]
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noun, plural Men·she·viks, Men·she·vik·i [men-shuh-vik-ee, -vee-kee; Russian myin-shi-vyi-kyee] /ˈmɛn ʃəˌvɪk i, -ˌvi ki; Russian myɪn ʃɪ vyɪˈkyi/.
  1. a member of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party in opposition to the Bolsheviks: advocated gradual development of full socialism through parliamentary government and cooperation with bourgeois parties; absorbed into the Communist party formed in 1918.
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Origin of Menshevik

1905–10; < Russian menʾshevík, equivalent to ménʾsh(iĭ) lesser (comparative of málenʾkiĭ small; compare menʾshinstvó minority) + -evik, variant of -ovik noun suffix
Related formsMen·she·vism [men-shuh-viz-uh m] /ˈmɛn ʃəˌvɪz əm/, nounMen·she·vist, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for menshevik

Historical Examples

  • In Russia "Bolshevik" means majority, and "Menshevik" minority.

    Bolshevism: A Curse &amp; Danger to the Workers

    Henry William Lee

  • Are we depriving ourselves of Cadet and Menshevik criticisms of the corruption of the working class?

  • One of the Menshevik orators attempted incidentally to represent me as a defender of militarism in general.


British Dictionary definitions for menshevik

Menshevik

Menshevist

noun
  1. a member of the moderate wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party, advocating gradual reform to achieve socialismCompare Bolshevik
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Derived FormsMenshevism, noun

Word Origin

C20: from Russian, literally: minority, from menshe less, from malo few
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

Word Origin and History for menshevik

Menshevik

adj.

1907, from Russian men'shevik, from men'she "lesser" (comparative of malo "little," from PIE root *mei- "small;" see minus) + -evik "one that is." So called by Lenin because they were a minority in the party. Earlier used in reference to the minority faction of the Social-Democratic Party, when it split in 1903. As a noun from 1917. Russian plural mensheviki occasionally was used in English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper