sam·​o·​var | \ ˈsa-mə-ˌvär How to pronounce samovar (audio) \

Definition of samovar

1 : an urn with a spigot at its base used especially in Russia to boil water for tea
2 : 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 Home is the usual Russian affair—chaise longue: check; samovar: check—but the women’s clothes, and their language, are jarringly modern. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "A Millennial Reboot of Chekhov, and “Moulin Rouge!” on Broadway," 29 July 2019 The hosts have staged a fine tournament, full of smiles, solyanka and samovars — and a bit of vodka, too. Ronald Blum,, "'Tiki-taka' generation ends as Spain leave the World Cup," 1 July 2018 The artistic temperaments clash before the first round of tea from the samovar. Michael Phillips,, "'The Seagull' review: Decamping to Chekhovlandia with Saoirse Ronan," 17 May 2018 Guests can grab tea from large samovars before viewing an exhibit of jerseys and medals from the country’s hockey successes, dating to the Soviet period when the Red Machine ruled. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "What Ban? Patriotic Fervor Grips Russia’s Celebration House in South Korea," 11 Feb. 2018 There is a traditional samovar of tea, a folk choir, even the dress in which figure skater Adelina Sotnikova won the gold medal in Sochi in 2014. James Ellingsworth,, "Russia throws flamboyant Olympic party despite scandals," 9 Feb. 2018 Privalenko pointed out Lenin’s samovar, a piano and a chess table with a secret compartment to hide materials from the police. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian, "Vladimir Lenin’s Return Journey to Russia Changed the World Forever," 29 Mar. 2017 The Lithuanian director Rimas Tuminas reimagines this story of blighted ambitions and unrequited love without a samovar in sight. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "What’s New in NYC Theater," 8 June 2017 Later this month, Mr. Paley launches a full Russian afternoon tea at Portland’s Heathman Hotel, complete with Kiev tortes, his grandmother’s sour cream cake and vintage samovars. Sarah Karnasiewicz, WSJ, "How Slavic Became the Flavor of the Moment," 2 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'samovar.' 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 samovar

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for samovar

Russian, from samo- self + varit' to boil

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about samovar

Time Traveler for samovar

Time Traveler

The first known use of samovar was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Statistics for samovar

Cite this Entry

“Samovar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on samovar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with samovar Encyclopedia article about samovar

Comments on samovar

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!