noun, often capitalized
gu·​lag | \ ˈgü-ˌläg How to pronounce gulag (audio) \

Definition of gulag

: the penal system of the U.S.S.R. consisting of a network of labor camps also : labor camp sense 1

Examples of gulag in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The site had originally been occupied by a transit station for prisoners bound for Stalin’s gulags, and Soviet-era relics were everywhere. Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic, "Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.," 16 Aug. 2019 That diluted Western opposition to the party’s retention of an iron grip on political power or the existence of the laogai — gulag — to which political and religious dissidents were sent. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "Don’t Dismiss Communist China’s Critics," 23 July 2019 New logo, the Siberian skyline, complete with smokestacks and gulags. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Here's the new motto for Cincinnati Bengals and Reds fans," 27 June 2017 That’s what the Chinese call their gulag archipelago of internment and reeducation camps in Xinjiang province, where an estimated million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic people are being held. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Why Won’t American Politicians Talk about Chinese Authoritarianism?," 26 June 2019 Grossman’s father, a former Menshevik, voluntarily exiled himself to a frozen yurt on the periphery of Kazakhstan to avoid the gulag. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 Sauytbay’s testimony provided the first dramatic public evidence from a Chinese citizen of the expanding gulag in Xinjiang. James Millward, The New York Review of Books, "‘Reeducating’ Xinjiang’s Muslims," 7 Feb. 2019 This at a time when the penalty for such an offense could be death by execution, or almost certain death in the gulag. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Pavlik Morozov Is the Patron Saint of Cancel Culture," 2 July 2019 Nadym, a former gulag camp, is now a booming town of gas workers. Anatoly Kurmanaev, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Bring Kremlin, Russian Oligarchs Closer Together," 29 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of gulag

1974, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gulag

Russian, from Glavnoe upravlenie ispravitel'notrudovykh lagereĭ chief administration of corrective labor camps

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for gulag

The first known use of gulag was in 1974

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More from Merriam-Webster on gulag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gulag

Nglish: Translation of gulag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gulag for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gulag

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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