ku·​lak | \ ˈkü-ˌlak How to pronounce kulak (audio) , -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 Relatively affluent farmers, known as kulaks, were among the groups targeted. NBC News, "U.K.'s Johnson begins election battle, vowing Brexit and casting rival as 'Stalin'," 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, "When the Soviet Union Freed the Arctic from Capitalist Slavery," 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, "When the Soviet Union Freed the Arctic from Capitalist Slavery," 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, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 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, "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

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.

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First Known Use of kulak

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kulak

Russian, literally, fist

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The first known use of kulak was in 1877

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Cite this Entry

“Kulak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kulak. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on kulak

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kulak

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