Definition of Gulag in English:



  • 1[in singular] A system of labor camps maintained in the former Soviet Union from 1930 to 1955 in which many people died.

    • ‘Meanwhile, we hear of the wider costs to Soviet society and the economy of the later Stalinist system, in particular, agriculture and the Gulag.’
    • ‘El Commandante executes hijackers without trial and imprisons dissidents just like his former paymasters did in the Soviet Gulag.’
    • ‘In the Soviet Union, Lenin greatly enlarged the Tzarist forced labour camps, which were renamed Gulags (Russian acronym for the Main Administration of Corrective Labour Camps) in 1930.’
    • ‘Its responsibilities included political surveillance, internal security, supervision of political trials, administration of Gulags and other prison camps, and border security.’
    • ‘Yet you say some of the worst atrocities, such as the Soviet Gulag and the Cultural Revolution, were committed in the name of secularism.’
    • ‘It was under Lenin's less-than-benevolent guidance that the secret police which eventually became the KGB was set up, as was the system of Gulags.’
    • ‘What they have done on this score may not be enough by a long shot for some people, but I sincerely doubt that any-one reading about the scale and reality of the Gulags can make a fair comparison to an American prison.’
    • ‘In neither Moscow nor St. Petersburg is there a museum devoted solely to the Gulag or Soviet crimes.’
    • ‘How could anyone who has lived in a century that included the Holocaust, the Soviet Gulags and the killing fields of Cambodia say that?’
    • ‘He died at the age of 49 in Kolyma, one of the Labour Camps set up by the Gulag.’
    • ‘The Gulag was Soviet society reflected in a nightmarishly distorted mirror and it was only when the communist system ceased to function that the camps disappeared altogether.’
    • ‘Few inhabitants inside the Soviet Union learned of the revolts in the Gulag or of the forest-dwelling anti-Soviet partisans.’
    • ‘The comparison with the former Soviet Gulags is highly imperfect: as many as 18 million citizens suffered in the Soviet camps; an estimated 1.6 million died in them.’
    • ‘The Hoover Institution Archives houses an extensive collection of material on the Soviet Gulag.’
    • ‘In light of the Holocaust, the Soviet Gulags, the slaughter in Cambodia, and similar dictatorial excesses, the recent temptation to intervene, given appropriate circumstances, is difficult to resist.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, once prisoners were in custody the Gulag tried to organize their lives in such a way as to get maximum work out of them.’
    • ‘The cartoon showed two prisoners laboring in the Gulag.’
    • ‘The research also found widespread ignorance when students were asked what were the Gulags in the Soviet Union.’
    • ‘There is a new book about the Soviet Gulag out from the Institute of Economic Affairs in Britain.’
    • ‘Aged twenty when the Nazis invaded Poland, Bardach escaped to join the Red Army but his subsequent criticism of the Stalinist regime led to a sentence of hard labour in the Gulag.’
    1. 1.1A camp in the Gulag system, or any political labor camp.
      • ‘There were no doubters in the prisons and gulags, where dissidents spread the news, tapping to each other in code what the American President had dared to say.’
      • ‘At a time when a career in politics seems about as appealing as a spell in the gulags, this book could be used as a recruiting pamphlet for Westminster.’
      • ‘After visiting Siberia's industrial cities, built by prisoners from the Soviet gulags, Meek says he tried to capture the unique hysteria it produces, in his complex and quirky characters.’
      • ‘Whether he sang from the point of view of a Moscow street criminal, a convict in the gulags or a young soldier at the front, his voice and poetic language had a unique immediacy.’
      • ‘While modernity saw liberal democracy and pluralism, it also saw the concentration camp and the gulag.’
      • ‘Concentration camps, gulags, internment camps… It seems like the WWII era was all about camps.’
      • ‘Under Communism, homosexuality was penalized: gay men were sent to labor camps and gulags, while lesbians were confined to mental hospitals.’
      • ‘Start thinking and pretty soon you get ideas, and then you get idealism, and the next thing you know you've got ideology, with millions dead in concentration camps and gulags.’
      • ‘One of the most serious charges laid against atheism is that it is responsible for some of the worst horrors of the twentieth century, including the Nazi concentration camps and Stalin's gulags.’
      • ‘By the time Hiss was offering his secrets to Stalin's agents, the news about the gulags - vast concentration camps which slaughtered over 15 million innocent people - was out and beyond dispute.’
      • ‘I think it's fairly obvious what that kind of process resembles, and if not a gulag, then some sort of concentration camp.’
      • ‘It is only a matter of scale that differentiates this camp from the gulags and the concentration camps of the twentieth century.’
      • ‘It was to Kazakhstan that Joseph Stalin exiled thousands of prisoners to some of his most brutal gulags.’
      • ‘Even when he was held prisoner in a Siberian gulag he managed to orchestrate his release.’
      • ‘He saw women who had been raped in gulags, and children who had been tortured there.’
      • ‘And when you talk about the gulags and the concentration camps in Pol Pot's regime, millions of people, innocent people, were killed by those regimes.’
      • ‘They are the stuff of inquisitions, imperialisms, gulags, and concentration camps.’
      • ‘Trips can also be arranged to visit the decrepit gulags and labor camps used so mercilessly by Stalin during the Red Terror.’
      • ‘Wasn't this the century that included millions of conscripts hunkered down in trenches, and millions more innocent civilians herded into gulags and concentration camps?’
      • ‘The purges, gulags, mass population transfers, political famines, monumental infrastructure projects built by slave labour still have few parallels in modern history.’


Russian, from G(lavnoe) u(pravlenie ispravitelʹno-trudovykh) lag(ereĭ) Chief Administration for Corrective Labor Camps.