Definition of soviet in English:



  • 1An elected local, district, or national council in the former Soviet Union.

    • ‘It was only during the Gorbachev era that a pyramid of councils, or soviets, from the central authority to those at local village and neighborhood level, were given anything more than a symbolic or ritualistic role.’
    • ‘By mistake, an order from the Petrograd Soviet establishing its authority over the Petrograd garrison was sent to the whole army, with the result that officers had to consult local soldiers' soviets before giving orders.’
    • ‘Legislative powers belonged to the Supreme Soviet and its counterparts in the Union Republics.’
    • ‘Legislative power, for its part, was vested in the USSR Supreme Soviet and in the constituent soviets of the republics.’
    • ‘Local soviets met rarely and at irregular intervals, betraying their subordinate position to their Executive Committees.’
    1. 1.1A revolutionary council of workers or peasants in Russia before 1917.
      • ‘Lenin's State and Revolution champions the soviets, or workers' councils, created spontaneously during the 1905 revolution in Russia, as the basis for a future workers' state.’
      • ‘The Duma rejected all the principal demands of the soviet and expressed confidence in the police as the guardians of law and order.’
      • ‘The workers' councils, or soviets, became increasingly important in the run-up to October 1917.’
      • ‘Highly democratic workers' councils, known as soviets, sprung up in workplaces and the army.’
      • ‘In 1905 the mass strike led to the creation of soviets - workers' councils that began to discuss and organise every aspect of life. They offered a new form of power to set against the present way things are run.’
  • 2A citizen of the former Soviet Union.

    • ‘Some forty years ago, the Soviets took the bull by the horns and launched Yuri Gagarin into space.’
    • ‘The Soviets may have put the first satellite in orbit but the U.S. was the first to put a man on the moon.’
    • ‘In fact, the Soviets defeated more than three times as many German divisions as their western allies.’
    • ‘In the face of such toughness, the Soviets capitulated and released the five British arrested.’
    • ‘Much to the CIA's satisfaction, he helped to defeat the Soviets in the early Nineties.’
    • ‘His father was a village school teacher but during the war he enlisted and was taken prisoner by the Soviets.’
    • ‘During the detente era, the Soviets were careful not to give the West too much propaganda ammunition.’
    • ‘As the western allies quickly demobilised after the war, the opposite was the case with the Soviets.’
    • ‘Yet Grass was wrong on the big questions, especially his reluctance to face down the Soviets.’
    • ‘So far both the Soviets and the Americans were pushing their agenda in Kashmir.’
    • ‘She never disguised her contempt for the left and in particular the Soviets.’
    • ‘Canada was a prime target for the Soviets because of its energy links to the U.S.’
    • ‘After the war the Soviets moved in and signs of its Communist past still exist in its many tower blocks.’
    • ‘Like the Soviets, they achieve equality not by lifting everyone up but by keeping everyone down.’
    • ‘It is very hard to argue that the Soviets were given the credit they were due for their sacrifices and sheer heroism.’
    • ‘The Soviets on the other hand were too poor to fight and had too much to lose.’
    • ‘The Soviets had only just taken the city of Lublin, 140 kilometres south-east of Warsaw.’
    • ‘Nor can we be said to have pure capitalism anymore than the Soviets had pure communism.’
    • ‘Even the Soviets, who had sided with the Spanish government against Franco, react coolly.’
    • ‘The Soviets reportedly found one of two black boxes, but released no details.’
    collectivist, leftist, socialist, radical socialist, anti-capitalist
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  • Of or concerning the former Soviet Union.

    ‘the Soviet leader’
    • ‘The hotel, which offers sweeping views of the city, survived a decade of Soviet invasion.’
    • ‘He was among many Soviet dissidents who fought not just for political liberty but for national rights.’
    • ‘Gorbachev had hoped to achieve a restructuring of Soviet society and especially of the communist party.’
    • ‘Vietnam invaded Cambodia, consolidating Soviet hegemony over all of Indochina.’
    • ‘The precise number held in Soviet prisons during that period has become a matter of guesswork.’
    • ‘Ukraine and the other former Soviet republics believe they can meet these criteria.’
    • ‘At that time, some argued for containment and deterrence as the remedy for Soviet hostility.’
    • ‘There are a host of displays, including radar technology and even Soviet equipment.’
    • ‘The issue is further complicated by the lack of regulation on property rights in Soviet times.’
    • ‘Stalin wanted to extend Soviet influence and control over as much of Europe as possible.’
    • ‘Uranium was extracted and milled for Soviet weapons in all its countries.’
    • ‘He showed resolve over Berlin but was not uncompromising in response to Soviet pressure.’
    • ‘In the battle of Stalingrad one million Soviet soldiers were to meet their end.’
    • ‘I must admit to enjoying it, particularly its stridently progressivist Soviet tone.’
    • ‘Instead, Ivan's hero status affords him special privileges in Soviet society.’
    • ‘After the war, he joined Soviet intelligence and rose within the ranks of the KGB.’
    • ‘Mass terror and purges were not intrinsic to Soviet rule, as was clear after Stalin's death.’
    • ‘The beach is deserted but for a stubborn few, and this Soviet edifice is now but a window to a bygone era.’
    • ‘As most of the research was done in hitherto secret Soviet archives, there seems little doubt of its accuracy.’
    • ‘There were already strong hints that the Polish army would be used rather than Soviet tanks.’


Early 20th century: from Russian sovet council.