[ra-spyoo-tin, -tn; Russian ruh-spoo-tyin]
  1. Gri·go·ri E·fi·mo·vich [gri-gawr-ee i-fee-muh-vich; Russian gryi-gaw-ryee yi-fyee-muh-vyich] /grɪˈgɔr i ɪˈfi mə vɪtʃ; Russian gryɪˈgɔ ryi yɪˈfyi mə vyɪtʃ/, 1871–1916, Siberian peasant monk who was very influential at the court of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra.
  2. any person who exercises great but insidious influence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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  1. Grigori Efimovich (ɡriˈɡɔrij jɪˈfiməvitʃ). ?1871–1916, Siberian peasant monk, notorious for his debauchery, who wielded great influence over Tsarina Alexandra. He was assassinated by a group of Russian noblemen
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 rasputin


acquired name (Russian, literally "debauchee") of Grigory Yefimovich Novykh (c.1872-1916), mystic and faith healer who held sway over court of Nicholas II of Russia. His nickname is from his doctrine of "rebirth through sin," that true holy communion must be preceded by immersion in sin. His name used figuratively in English from 1937 for anyone felt to have an insidious and corrupting influence.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper