1. Of or relating to Russia or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to the former Soviet Union.
a. A native or inhabitant of Russia.
b. A person of Russian ancestry.
c. A native or inhabitant of the former Soviet Union.
2. The East Slavic language of the Russians, used as the official language of Russia and widely as a second language within the Commonwealth of Independent States.
[Medieval Latin Russiānus, from Old Russian Rusĭ, Vikings, Rus, from Old Norse *rōdhs(menn) or rōdhs(karlar), seafarers, from rōdhr, rowing; see erə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.