apparatchik

noun ap·pa·rat·chik \ ˌä-pə-ˈrä(t)-chik \

Definition of apparatchik

plural apparatchiks also apparatchiki play \-chi-kē\
1 :a member of a Communist apparat
2 :a blindly devoted official, follower, or member of an organization (such as a corporation or political party)
  • a movie studio apparatchik

apparatchik was our Word of the Day on 05/24/2007. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of apparatchik from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of apparatchik

Russian, from apparat


APPARATCHIK Defined for English Language Learners

apparatchik

noun

Definition of apparatchik for English Language Learners

  • : a very loyal member of an organization (such as a company or political party) who always obeys orders


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to suppress quietly or indirectly

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