che·​ka | \ ˈchā(ˌ)kä \
plural -s

Definition of cheka

: secret police (as in a Communist-dominated country) having virtually unrestrained power over life and death

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History and Etymology for cheka

borrowed from Russian Čeka, from če + ka, initial letters of Črezvyčajnaja komissija, short for Vserossijskaja črezvyčajnaja komissija po bor'be s kontrrevoljuciej i sabotažem “All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counterrevolution and Sabotage,” name of the principal Bolshevik state security organ from 1917 to 1922

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Cite this Entry

“Cheka.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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