Definition of kremlin in US English:



  • 1A citadel within a Russian town.

    • ‘Cities such as Moscow, Novgorod, Pskov, and Yaroslavl grew around the old fortresses (kremlins) and monasteries that formed their centers and near the gates where artisans and traders peddled their goods.’
    • ‘In Washington, the government veils itself ever further inside the folds of ‘national security,’ as federal buildings look increasingly like kremlins.’
    • ‘The kremlin was established in the 11th century and is one of the earliest to have stone defences.’
    1. 1.1 The citadel in Moscow.
    2. 1.2 The Russian or (formerly) Soviet government.


Mid 17th century: via French from Russian kremlʹ ‘citadel’.