• synonyms


  1. (in Eastern European history) a local ruler or governor, especially the semi-independent rulers of Transylvania, Wallachia, or Moldavia before c1700.
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Also vaivode.

Origin of voivode

1550–60;Slavic; compare Polish wojewoda, Russian voevóda, Serbo-Croatian vȍj(e)voda, OCS vojevoda commander, governor (translating Greek hēgemṓn and stratēgós), equivalent to voj- base of voinŭ warrior + -e- variant (after j) of -o- -o- + -voda, noun derivative of voditi to lead; vaivode < Hungarian vajvoda (now vajda) < Slavic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for voivode

Historical Examples of voivode

  • Oh, one who is to be king of Albania one day, the Voivode Amesa.

    The Captain of the Janizaries

    James M. Ludlow

  • To get her off with him may serve that somebody else: for the voivode is a villain: that much is sure.

  • But from the voivode in Yakutsk we received no support whatever.

  • A Voivode was elected and the limits of his province were defined.

  • I hoped at one time that I might yet become a Voivode—even a great one.

Word Origin and History for voivode


"local or provincial ruler in Transylvania, Moldavia, etc.," 1560s, from Russian voevoda, originally "leader of the army," from Old Church Slavonic voji "warriors" + -voda "leader." Cf. Hungarian vajvoda (later vajda), Serb. vojvoda, Polish wojewoda.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper