Definition of apparatchik
- a movie studio apparatchik
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apparatchik.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
In the context of the definition of "apparatchik" (a term English speakers borrowed from Russian), "apparat" essentially means "party machine." An "apparatchik," therefore, is a cog in the system of the Communist Party. The term is not an especially flattering one, and its negative connotations reflect the perception that some Communists were obedient drones in the great Party machine. In current use, however, a person doesn't have to be a member of the Communist Party to be called an "apparatchik"; he or she just has to be someone who mindlessly follows orders in an organization or bureaucracy.
First Known Use: 1941See Words from the same year
: a very loyal member of an organization (such as a company or political party) who always obeys orders
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