ku·​lak ˈkü-ˌlak How to pronounce kulak (audio)
: a prosperous or wealthy peasant farmer in 19th century Russia
: a farmer characterized by Communists as having excessive wealth

Examples of kulak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Stepan was given land and became village chief and a kulak, or rich peasant farmer. Washington Post, 9 May 2021 Relatively affluent farmers, known as kulaks, were among the groups targeted. NBC News, 6 Nov. 2019 According to the Party’s official account, Gemav’e had refused to pay taxes on his herd, making him a kulak. Bathsheba Demuth, The New Yorker, 15 Aug. 2019 There could be no future until shamans and kulaks, with their un-collectivized reindeer, were liquidated and their souls transformed. Bathsheba Demuth, The New Yorker, 15 Aug. 2019 Grossman could embrace any number of contradictions: loyal Soviet citizen and dissident, kulak and commissar, Stalin worshipper and Stalin hater, in-group and out. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, 24 June 2019 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, 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, 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, 23 Aug. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kulak.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Russian, literally, fist

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of kulak was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near kulak

Cite this Entry

“Kulak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kulak. Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

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