sam·​o·​var ˈsa-mə-ˌvär How to pronounce samovar (audio)
: an urn with a spigot at its base used especially in Russia to boil water for tea
: an urn similar to a Russian samovar with a device for heating the contents

Illustration of samovar

Illustration of samovar
  • samovar 1

Examples of samovar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The oldest, who had begun his career as a waiter as long ago as 1896, brought to mind the elderly retainer Firs who fussed over the samovar in Chekhov’s play, The Cherry Orchard. Alan Philps, Town & Country, 5 July 2023 Entering a spacious room full of women in striking prints, avant-garde floral displays in every color, and a bright red samovar brewing tea in time for cocktail hour, the celebratory atmosphere was fitting. Maria Geyman, Vogue, 24 Mar. 2023 Amid the musicians are suitcases, a samovar and other keepsakes from the lives of central characters Chaim and Chaya, who meet in Halifax and go on to have a rocky romance. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2022 Ivan Shabelnyk left home with a friend on March 23 to collect pine cones so the family could light the samovar and have tea. Anchorage Daily News, 2 Oct. 2022 Old-fashioned Chekhovian naturalism is banished to create a samovar-free zone. David Benedict, Variety, 8 July 2022 Authentic Russian balalaika melodies set the mood as hostesses serve a beverage from the samovar -- the Bolshoi Golden Troika, (a mix of coffee, vodka and liqueurs) created by the house of Seagram. Chris Dwyer, CNN, 11 Aug. 2021 There will be no samovar, there will be no parasols. New York Times, 22 June 2021 The effect of her behavior now is to drive a wedge between the two brothers, based on the flimsiest of reasons: i.e., who went home with the samovar. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 26 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'samovar.' 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 samo- self + varit' to boil

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of samovar was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near samovar

Cite this Entry

“Samovar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


sam·​o·​var ˈsam-ə-ˌvär How to pronounce samovar (audio)
: a container with a faucet used especially in Russia for tea

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