from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An inmate of a Soviet labor camp.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Russian, from abbr. for zaklyuchënnyĭ, prisoner, from past passive participle of zaklyuchat', to imprison, from klyuch, key, from Old Church Slavonic ključĭ.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Russian зэк (zèk), probably representing a pronunciation of з/к (z/k), Soviet abbreviation of заключённый (zaključënnyj, "prisoner").


  • Assuming antitrust authorities permit the deal to go through, the 55-year-old Mr. Smisek (pronounced SMY-zek), who took the helm of Continental in January, is to become CEO of the merged carrier.

    As UAL Flirted, Continental Cut In

  • This whole story has remained almost completely invisible in America, which is strange because it was all about the adventures of American zek.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Why the Neglect of Communist Crimes Matters

  • As a prisoner, or zek, he fasted in protest and fought strip searches, earning stints in the shizo -- cold punishment cells that broke many prisoners 'health and spirits.

    Back To The Gulag

  • The prison camp of ordinary zek Ivan Shukhov was, in reality, all of the Soviet Union.

    The Life of Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  • This post has been removed by a blog administrator. zek July 14, 2006 7:31 AM # | Delete the pagebody-background.gif on the header it doesnt work with mozilla firefox, also the bullet.gif in the sidebar.


  • This analysis of incarceration in the Soviet Union, including the author's own experiences as a zek, called into question the moral foundations of the USSR Foucault examines the development of modern society's systems of incarceration

    The Guardian World News

  • Quote from zek: "The most successful has been the Apple TV" is that true?


  • Critico-Sacrse \ quarum piima explicatur £zek.xiii. 18 j altera verb 2 Reg. x.

    Literary anecdotes of the eighteenth century; comprizing biographical memoirs of William Bowyer, printer, F. S. A.

  • pls fix it! zek July 14, 2006 7:37 AM # | Delete i have the same problem in firefox ... please fix it soon and let me know of any work arounds in the mean time.


  • auuuthooooorrr... are u here? zek July 28, 2006 8:51 AM # | Delete



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  • The victims surviving the wreck

    Begin the quadrennial trek,

    In Winter begun

    But South to the sun

    And end to a life as a zek.

    January 25, 2017

  • Goodbye, Solzhenitsyn!

    August 7, 2008

  • A Gulag prisoner.

    March 23, 2008