Potemkin village


Po·​tem·​kin village pə-ˈtem(p)-kən- How to pronounce Potemkin village (audio)
: an impressive facade or show designed to hide an undesirable fact or condition

Examples of Potemkin village in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The resort reproduces an ancient Apulian town and farmhouse in a project that some locals have likened to a Mediterranean Potemkin village. Emma Bubola, New York Times, 11 June 2024 The fake blood, the cars on rails, the Potemkin villages, not to mention the computer graphics, the herds and armies and tempests that exist only in code. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, 6 May 2024 Is the immaculate beauty of that metro station a Potemkin village glossing over the fear with which many Russians live? Scott Simon, NPR, 23 Feb. 2024 Most of San Francisco will remain filthy, lawless and plagued with homeless encampments and drugs, and the Potemkin village will vanish after the summit. WSJ, 17 Nov. 2023 But Horizons Worlds, which as of October reportedly had less than two hundred thousand users, is so far more like a virtual Potemkin village constructed to keep the boss happy. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 8 Dec. 2022 The $60 million headquarters, for one, was barely a Potemkin village. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2022 These guys taking the field now are placeholders, the Potemkin village of playoff teams. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 14 July 2022 The McNamaras were a Potemkin village of family bliss. Washington Post, 6 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Potemkin village.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Grigori Potëmkin, who supposedly built impressive fake villages along a route Catherine the Great was to travel

First Known Use

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Potemkin village was in 1904

Dictionary Entries Near Potemkin village

Cite this Entry

“Potemkin village.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Potemkin%20village. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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