Definition of Menshevik in English:



  • A member of the moderate non-Leninist wing of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party, opposed to the Bolsheviks and defeated by them after the overthrow of the tsar in 1917.

    • ‘It was June 1917 and Kerensky had formed a provisional government that included the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries - but also representatives of the capitalist parties such as the Cadets.’
    • ‘A moderate socialist, he enjoyed the support of the Mensheviks, though he never joined the party.’
    • ‘A strong Social Democrat Party of Mensheviks emerged in Georgia in the early 20th century, which formed a brief republic, under British protection.’
    • ‘Here he is referring to the revolutionary socialist party which was split between the Mensheviks on the right and the Bolsheviks on the left.’
    • ‘Riots and demonstrations broke out through the cities and on March 15, 1917 Czar Nicholas III gave up his throne to a provisional government mostly lead by Mensheviks.’


From Russian Menʹshevik a member of the minority, from menʹshe less. Lenin coined the name at a time when the party was (untypically) in a temporary minority.