- a Soviet citizen, usually Jewish, who was denied permission to emigrate from the Soviet Union.
Origin of refusenik
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for refusenik
You, dear reader and refusenik, will likely be called a cynic or a sad sack by friends.
I envy my refusenik friends their steadfast commitments to stay in, and contentment in doing so.
Sharansky, the famed Soviet refusenik, had left the Soviet Union for Israel in 1986.Putting The Blame On "Palestine's Democratic Deficit"
February 19, 2013
And Netanyahu is the only one who will be able to confront these refusenik settlers.Netanyahu is Our Man
March 27, 2012
- (formerly) a Jew in the Soviet Union who had been refused permission to emigrate
- a person who refuses to cooperate with a system or comply with a law because of a moral conviction
C20: from refuse 1 + -nik
Word Origin and History for refusenik
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper