ku·​lak | \ ˈkü-ˌlak , -ˌläk; kü-ˈlak, -ˈläk\

Definition of kulak

1 : a prosperous or wealthy peasant farmer in 19th century Russia
2 : a farmer characterized by Communists as having excessive wealth

Examples of kulak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Both were homicidal paranoiacs, determined to deport, enslave and exterminate entire categories of human beings: in Stalin’s case, the kulaks during the collectivization campaign; in Hitler’s, not just Jews but Slavs, Romani and numerous others. Strobe Talbott, New York Times, "Stalin, Hitler and the Temptations of Totalitarianism," 18 Oct. 2017 Aiming to feed a growing urban work force and increase exports, Stalin’s henchmen forced peasants onto collective farms and eliminated relatively well-off peasants known as kulaks. Mark Atwood Lawrence, New York Times, "A Portrait of Stalin in All His Murderous Contradictions," 19 Oct. 2017 Her father, Apollon, an artist, was the son of a church official, and her mother, Anna, was the daughter of a kulak, or well-to-do peasant. William Grimes, New York Times, "Nina Ponomareva, Soviet Olympian Who Set Off a Diplomatic Crisis, Dies at 87," 23 Aug. 2016 Along with many Russian families during Stalin’s era, my family had been exiled to the steppe near Aktyubinsk because my father had been an officer of the czar’s army and a kulak, a Soviet word for entrepreneur. As Told To Dmitriy Frolovskiy, New York Times, "Looking for a Friend in Old Age," 30 Dec. 2016 Michael Flynn, the presiding kulak of the relationship between the Trump operation and influential Russians, really does have a story to tell. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Face It: Michael Flynn Has the Upper Hand Here," 22 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of kulak

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kulak

Russian, literally, fist

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kulak

Dictionary Entries near kulak


Kula Gulf






Statistics for kulak

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kulak

The first known use of kulak was in 1877

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on kulak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kulak

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kulak

Comments on kulak

What made you want to look up kulak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!