sa·​miz·​dat ˈsä-mēz-ˌdät How to pronounce samizdat (audio)
: a system in the Soviet Union and countries within its orbit by which government-suppressed literature was clandestinely printed and distributed
also : such literature

Examples of samizdat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Palace premiered last fall at the Venice Film Festival and is now being circulated unofficially — like samizdat. Armond White, National Review, 14 Feb. 2024 The most famous example of samizdat was Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel Doctor Zhivago, which David Lean eventually filmed in 1965. Armond White, National Review, 14 Feb. 2024 In 1999, he was awarded the Andrei Bely Prize, the oldest Russian independent literary prize, celebrating samizdat writers and poets who worked outside Soviet censorship. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2024 Hence, the new and remarkably viable underground press in the Soviet Union called samizdat. Jay Bhattacharya, National Review, 30 Sep. 2023 Unlike the underground of Czarist times, today’s samizdat has ... Jay Bhattacharya, National Review, 30 Sep. 2023 As there was samizdat literature (underground literature) in the Soviet Union, so there is in China. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 11 Apr. 2023 This level of frankness was nearly revolutionary at the time, and so the book was treasured as tweener samizdat. Kyle Smith,, 27 Apr. 2023 Kovalyov, who won numerous global human rights awards, was close to Sakharov, the leading Soviet dissident, and was part of a group of pioneering Soviet activists who secretly published underground materials known as samizdat, opposing the official Communist Party line and exposing abuses. Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'samizdat.' 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, from sam- self- + izdatel'stvo publishing house

First Known Use

1967, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of samizdat was in 1967

Dictionary Entries Near samizdat

Cite this Entry

“Samizdat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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