Definition of apparatchik in English:



  • 1A member of a Communist Party apparat.

    ‘old apparatchiks have given way to the Russian government's young reformers’
    • ‘In so doing, they hope to exonerate the thousands of former Khmer Rouge apparatchiks within the Cambodian government, military and business elite.’
    • ‘Blogging politicians are always going to be seen as a little bit like those old Communist apparatchiks who had to sit in the front row at rock concerts and pretend to swing to the beat.’
    • ‘Former Communist Party apparatchiks wound up in control of most state assets while billions haemorrhaged out of the country into numbered Swiss bank accounts.’
    • ‘You write that in four of these five states the current rulers are former apparatchiks of the Communist Party.’
    • ‘Privatization often has involved the corrupt transfer of assets into the private hands of former communist apparatchiks.’
    1. 1.1derogatory, humorous An official in a large political organization.
      ‘Tory apparatchiks’
      • ‘With the political journalists, the fun in reading them is trying to work out which politician, apparatchik or bureaucrat they've been speaking to.’
      • ‘Clearly, there is no place in all of this for court painters to undertake ‘influential interventions’ on behalf of bewildered litigants, or for sentences to be carried out by furtive apparatchiks in some distant quarry.’
      • ‘‘Oh well, you know how busy she is, being a minister’, simpers her constituency apparatchik when you try to contact her.’
      • ‘This apparatchik added looking at the academics who were commanded to attend: ‘If there is anyone here against democracy, I shall smash his face’.’
      • ‘And the weather apparatchiks also refuse to acknowledge that even in the winter the sun provides some slight warmth.’
      • ‘It would not normally be worth reporting except that it is a small example of how difficult it can be these days for the ordinary scientist to question the official beliefs of the apparatchiks of global warming.’
      • ‘Church apparatchiks are fond of saying they think in centuries, not days or years, but perhaps it's a habit they need to kick.’
      • ‘It is a bit rich for the apparatchiks of contemporary tourism industries to claim a romantic attachment to objects whose value is derived solely from that which was placed upon them by British antiquarians of yester-year.’
      • ‘The message to our cultural apparatchiks was that the more popular the project the more official favour and the more money it would find.’
      • ‘Global pundits will find endless flaws, and many a Washington apparatchik may be troubled by the election's outcome.’
      • ‘And where are the political thinkers, as opposed to the apparatchiks?’
      • ‘Over the past 6 years, he got used to having his way in the party-whether by sulking at the mildest of criticism, or by cracking the whip on apparatchiks.’
      • ‘It is entirely generated by three budget-hungry heads of universities and their apparatchiks.’
      • ‘Curators, artists, dealers and art world apparatchiks seemed all, for once, to be speaking with the same voice.’
      • ‘But there is a third level of meaning here which, intended or not, lends this show an importance greater than the art itself and throws down the gauntlet to Scotland's cultural apparatchiks.’
      • ‘Against a background where change comes slow, the theory of a ‘black hole’ swallowing up hikes in funding has gained currency among frustrated Finance apparatchiks.’
      • ‘It draws its core membership from an aspiring petty bourgeois layer of career politicians, apparatchiks and trade union functionaries who will swallow anything in order further their own privileged existence.’
      • ‘The more top-down management became dominant, the greater must be the tensions between the top-down apparatchiks and the academic staff who do the research and the teaching and the examining.’
      • ‘Today we get apparatchiks who start their working life with the intention to become a politician and work their way through the rarified environment of trade union offices, electorate offices or political think tanks.’
      • ‘So long as the state provides them with what they need and does not interfere unduly with their operations, they leave it to the apparatchiks.’
      official, office-bearer, office-holder, public servant, civil servant, bureaucrat, administrator
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1940s: Russian, from apparat (see apparat).