Definition of Chetnik in US English:



  • A member of a Serbian nationalist guerrilla force in the Balkans, especially one active during World War II.

    • ‘Montenegro was occupied by the Italians, who had no time to create a dependent authority, Montenegro having quickly become a cauldron of civil war between the Serb-nationalist Chetniks and Communist Partisans.’
    • ‘She loathed them because they were the sort of Chetnik nationalists her Communist partisan father fought against.’
    • ‘In an attempt to destroy Mihailovi and the Chetniks completely, Tito negotiated with the Germans, promising to stop harassing German troops if they would allow the partisans to return home.’
    • ‘His forces soon also turned against the rival guerrilla organization, the Chetniks.’
    • ‘In the face of the German attacks, Mihailovic's Chetniks either melted away back to their villages or fled with their leader to eastern Bosnia.’


Early 20th century: from Serbian četnik, from četa ‘band, troop’.