geographical name
Rus·​sia | \ ˈrə-shə How to pronounce Russia (audio) \
variants: or Russian Rossiya \ rä-​ˈsē-​yə How to pronounce Rossiya (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 U.S.S.R. called the Russian Republic .

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

see also russ, russian

Learn More about Russia

Statistics for Russia

Cite this Entry

“Russia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on Russia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Russia

Spanish Central: Translation of Russia

Nglish: Translation of Russia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Russia for Arabic Speakers

Comments on Russia

What made you want to look up Russia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!