Definition of samizdat in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈsamɪzdat//ˌsamɪzˈdat/


  • [mass noun] The clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, especially formerly in the communist countries of eastern Europe.

    [as modifier] ‘a samizdat newsletter’
    ‘samizdat books’
    • ‘This has archival value as a kind of samizdat text and the film itself is arguably of note as an intended critique of theocracy, of sharia and the suppression of women.’
    • ‘In Ukraine, all performances and translations of Shakespeare into Ukrainian were banned by strict ukases, thus turning Shakespeare into samizdat literature well before the Soviet period.’
    • ‘Accessibility is part of the problem, since much of Yoder's work remains unpublished, or available only in hard-to-obtain samizdat copy.’
    • ‘Journalists adopted tactics of underground publication, in the best tradition of East European samizdat.’
    • ‘Web sites have taken on the historical roles and research value of samizdat, avant-garde magazines, seditious literature, fringe political manifesti, etc.’


1960s: Russian, literally self-publishing house.