glasnost

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noun glas·nost \ˈglaz-(ˌ)nōst, ˈglas-, ˈgläz-, ˈgläs-\

Definition of glasnost

  1. :  a Soviet policy permitting open discussion of political and social issues and freer dissemination of news and information

glasnost was our Word of the Day on 02/02/2007. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of glasnost from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glasnost'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Glasnost' wasn't coined by former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, but he was responsible for catapulting the word into the international media and the English vocabulary. The term derives from the Russian adjective "glasnyi," which means "public" and which itself traces to "glas," a root meaning "voice." In Russian, "glasnost" was originally used (as long ago as the 18th century) in the general sense of "publicity," and the Oxford English Dictionary reports that V.I. Lenin used it in the context of freedom of information in the Soviet state. However, it wasn't until Gorbachev declared it a public policy in the mid-1980s that "glasnost" became widely known and used in English.

Origin and Etymology of glasnost

Russian glasnost', literally, publicity, from glasnyĭ public, from glas voice, from Old Church Slavonic glasŭ — more at call


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