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!

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


First Known Use: 1986


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