from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A prosperous landed peasant in czarist Russia, characterized by the Communists during the October Revolution as an exploiter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun historical A prosperous peasant in the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, who owned land and could hire workers.


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

[Russian, fist, kulak, probably of Turkic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1877. From Russian кулак (kulák, "fist; tight-fisted person"), from Turkic. Compare also Russian раскулачивание (raskuláčivanie, "dekulakization"), подкулачник (podkuláčnik, "subkulak").


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  • To try to persuade some of them to come back would make economic sense, but hardly accords with the prevailing ideology, which inveighs against a "kulak" or "comprador" class, be it black or white.

    Inside Angola Smiley, Xan 1983

  • In the 1920s and 30s, sheeplike Western travelers in Stalinist Russia had accepted its category of "kulak," or rich peasant, to describe a peasant who owned a pig or a cow and was therefore a class enemy deserving the supreme penalty.

    City Journal 2010

  • Like Ayers, who believed that socialism could be imposed on America with no more than 25% of the kulak types being exterminated.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Trouble With Standing Athwart History 2009

  • For example, my own family consists of a former kulak, a member of intelligentsia, gulag prisoner, a navy officer, and a communist state official.

    Estonian Symbolism, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty 2009

  • Going on their air on a regular basis and lending your name and reputation to their ideological razzle-dazzle is like agreeing to be the regular kulak guest columnist at Pravda in 1929.

    Juan Williams, axed Michael Tomasky 2010

  • The insurrection of five kulak districts should be pitilessly suppressed.

    Matthew Yglesias » Geithner on Nationalization 2009

  • Taxation collected from the profitable private light industries and kulak run farms funded the state sponsored growth of heavy industry.

    Matthew Yglesias » A Reform Cabinet for Nigeria 2010

  • Tenor Michael König acquits himself well as Katerina's mercurial lover Serguéi, and Ludovít Ludha, in the role of Katerina's abusive stepfather Boris, summons that notorious Shostakovian enigma as authoritarian kulak and bumbling sexual predator.

    A Rollicking and Riveting 'Lady Macbeth' Jonathan Blitzer 2011

  • The insurrection of five kulak districts should be pitilessly suppressed.

    Roger’s Rules » How Stupid Do They Think We Are? 2010

  • Kalashnikov, had been declared a kulak, and exiled as an enemy of the people, when the sergeant was an eleven-year-old boy.

    The Gun C. J. Chivers 2010


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