bo·​yar bō-ˈyär How to pronounce boyar (audio)
variants or less commonly boyard
: a member of a Russian aristocratic order next in rank below the ruling princes until its abolition by Peter the Great

Examples of boyar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The traditional political system, arguably still in place to this day, is a triangle comprising the tsar, the boyars, and the people. Keith Gessen, The New Yorker, 1 July 2023 In times of trouble, the tsar can play the people against the boyars, and vice versa. Keith Gessen, The New Yorker, 1 July 2023 In exchange for the efficiencies of a single market, for example, Europeans have agreed to cede political controls to the boyars of Brussels. Peter Rough, National Review, 22 Apr. 2020 These days the boyars serve at his pleasure, just as those beneath them serve at their pleasure and so on all the way down. The Economist, 26 Oct. 2017 Power and wealth are concentrated in the hands of aristocratic boyars. A. O. Scott, New York Times, 21 Jan. 2016

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

Word History


Russian boyarin

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of boyar was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near boyar

Cite this Entry

“Boyar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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