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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1907, from Russian men'shevik, from men'she "lesser" (comparative of malo "little," from PIE root *mei- (2) "small;" see minus) + -evik "one that is." So called by Lenin because they were a minority in the party. Earlier used in reference to the minority faction of the Social-Democratic Party, when it split in 1903. As a noun from 1917. Russian plural mensheviki occasionally was used in English.

Usage examples of "menshevik".

A section of the Menshevik wing of the Party, however, was inclined to meet the situation by increasingly accommodating itself to the demands of reaction, eschewing illegal work in favour of a comfortable parliamentary niche.

Lenin used when attacking, not Trotsky, not the Mensheviks, but the conciliators and Menshevik camp followers in his own organisation, the editorial board of his own paper!

Stalin had pronounced in favour of accepting the proposal of the Menshevik Tseretelli for unification of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.

Georgian and a Menshevik, and next to Kerensky, at that time, was undoubtedly the most powerful man in Russia.

Bolsheviki, Menshevik Internationalists and the left wing of the Socialist Revolutionists.

The Mensheviki, Menshevik Internationalists, Right and Left Socialist Revolutionists, sat on one side, the Cadets on the other, and the vote on every important measure was a tie.

Smolny a hot battle of words was being waged between the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionists on one side and the Left Socialist Revolutionists, Bolsheviki and Menshevik Internationalists on the other.

Winter Palace, and if the whole uprising was not stopped at once, the delegates from the Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionist Parties, together with certain members of the City Duma, would march unarmed through the firing lines and die with the Provisional Government.

Nevsky were the delegates of the Socialist Revolutionist and Menshevik Parties.

One day I took in a Russian girl who belonged to the Menshevik party and who, therefore, was opposed to Spirodonova.

This was an old craft union, traditionally Menshevik, which had already clashed with the Bolshevik government on the question of control of the railways.

He was an ardent Menshevik supporter who in his heart despised the nobility and everything it stood for.

Well to the left of the followers of Dr Guizot, he was better able to re-fight the struggles of Bolshevik, Trotskyist and Menshevik than to take arms against a modern police force and army.

Vinaver, two other cds, the Menshevik Bobrovsky, a Socialist Revolutionary, and one nonparty minister.

Pavel Axelrod, a Menshevik and one of the few socialist leaders to come from a background of true poverty, was concerned that the workers should develop more of a voice of their own.