Definitions

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

  • n. See ataman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Cossack headman or general.
  • n. Title used by the second-highest military commander in Poland and Lithuania (15th to 18th century).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Cossack headman or general. The title of chief hetman is now held by the heir to the throne of Russia.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Poland, the commander of an army. The great hetman was formerly the commander-in-chief in the old kingdom of Poland.
  • n. Among the Cossacks, formerly, the elected chief of each of their principal communities; a Cossack chief; an ataman.

Etymologies

Ukrainian het'man, from Polish hetman, from German dialectal hötmann, hetmann, captain; akin to German Hauptmann, from Middle High German houbetman : houbet, head (from Old High German houbit; see kaput- in Indo-European roots) + man, man (from Old High German; see fugleman).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Polish hetman, probably from Middle High German houbetman, heuptman ("commander"), from houbet, heupt ("head"), related to Latin caput ("head"), + Middle High German man ("man"). Compare modern German Hauptmann ("captain"), Haupt, Mann. The Polish e in hetman attests to a borrowing from an East Central German dialect, where Middle High German öu gives ē. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "I've always heard that the name hetman is not just historical but a word that mean charismatic and strong military leader," Shaw explains.

    News on www.kyivpost.com

  • They looked up at me stupidly and pointed, but just then the "hetman" of the Szgany came out, and seeing them pointing to my window, said something, at which they laughed.

    Dracula

  • But the imprudent Swede turned southward into the district of the _Ukraine_, there to be joined by _Mazeppa_, the "hetman" of the Cossacks, who led them in revolt against

    Outline of Universal History

  • Matvei Ivanovich Platoff, hetman of Cossacks, and Russian commander in the

    Letter 292

  • We owed loyalty to none but our comrades and the hetman we elected to lead us - I was such a one.

    The Sky Writer

  • Fortunately, he was not a hetman of Cossacks for nothing.

    The Sky Writer

  • Now it is a new Russia, and instead of the hetman we have rulers from Moscow to govern the tribe.

    The Sky Writer

  • Conan, working as a hetman of the Free Peoples is on the trail of a girl he had met in camp.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • In 1991, when his hetman was appointed the country's minister of metallurgy, Lisin accompanied him to Moscow.

    Report: Billionaire Lisin Seeking 15% Of Arcelor

  • I thought you would want us to - night - me and the hetman here (patting his pony's neck), and Tom and his charger. when I heard your mill-bell

    Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte

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