Main definitions of Potemkin in English

: Potemkin1Potemkin2

Potemkin1

proper noun

  • A battleship whose crew mutinied during the Russian Revolution of 1905 when in the Black Sea, bombarding Odessa before seeking asylum in Romania. The incident persuaded the tsar to agree to a measure of reform.

Pronunciation:

Potemkin

/pəˈtem(p)kən/

Main definitions of Potemkin in English

: Potemkin1Potemkin2

Potemkin2

adjective

informal
  • Having a false or deceptive appearance, especially one presented for the purpose of propaganda.

    ‘it proved her to be a Potemkin feminist’
    • ‘Now, there's a 21st century twist on the Potemkin village: Potemkin refugee camps!’
    • ‘The President has established something like a Potemkin government.’
    • ‘Pervading everything is an atmosphere of laziness and Potemkin villages.’
    • ‘A Potemkin nation based on a house of cards laws simply will not work.’
    • ‘Typically in such cases, democracy is a Potemkin affair.’
    • ‘He too is portrayed as being unable to penetrate the local officials' Potemkin displays of fealty.’
    • ‘The Leftist Potemkin seems to think we should have the same rules for children as for adults.’
    • ‘The Shuttle has become like a Potemkin space program, built purely for the purpose of appearing to exist.’
    • ‘Meanwhile the rounding up of spurious suspects, like Potemkin villages, serves to mask the Government's weakness, rather than exemplify its strengths.’
    • ‘A lot of countries in the region have elections and legislatures, but they seem to be Potemkin parliaments with no real power.’
    • ‘For decades, the region has pursued a development strategy that brought it economic trophies that were part of a Potemkin economy, masking underlying failure.’
    • ‘What I've heard some of the judges say is they feel they've participated in a Potemkin court.’
    • ‘Although I thought of Potemkin villages and Soviet demands for conformity, 1 believe that I heard statements of genuine belief.’

Origin

1930s: from Grigori Aleksandrovich Potyomkin (often transliterated Potemkin), a favorite of Empress Catherine II of Russia, who reputedly gave the order for sham villages to be built for the empress's tour of the Crimea in 1787.

Pronunciation:

Potemkin

/pəˈtem(p)kən/