geographical name
Rus·​sia | \ ˈrə-shə How to pronounce Russia (audio) \
variants: or Russian Rossiya \ rä-​ˈsē-​yə How to pronounce Russia (audio) \

Definition of Russia

1 or officially Russian Federation independent country in eastern Europe and northern Asia bordering on the Arctic and Pacific oceans and on the Baltic and Black seas and covering the largest area of any country in the world; capital Moscow area 6,601,668 square miles (17,098,242 square kilometers), population 142,123,000

Note: From 1922 to 1991, Russia was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union called the Russian Republic .

2 the Soviet Union a common usage despite the fact that the Soviet Union included other republics besides Russia
3 or formerly Muscovy \ ˈmə-​skə-​vē How to pronounce Russia (audio) \ former empire in eastern Europe and northern Asia coextensive (except for Finland and Kars, a mountainous region now in northeastern Turkey) with the Soviet Union; capital Saint Petersburg

— see also russ, russian

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Cite this Entry

“Russia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on Russia

Nglish: Translation of Russia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Russia for Arabic Speakers


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