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

  • noun 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").


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  • 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

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

    The Life of Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  • 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

  • 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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  • A Gulag prisoner.

    March 23, 2008

  • Goodbye, Solzhenitsyn!

    August 7, 2008

  • 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