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also Gu·lag  (go͞o′läg)
a. A network of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union.
b. A labor camp in this network.
a. A network of prisons used especially for political dissidents.
b. A prison in such a network.

[Russian Gulag, from G(lavnoe) u(pravlenie ispravitel'no-trudovykh) lag(ereĭ), Chief Administration (of Correctional Labor) Camps.]


1. (Historical Terms) (formerly) the central administrative department of the Soviet security service, established in 1930, responsible for maintaining prisons and forced labour camps
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (not capital) any system used to silence dissents
[C20: from Russian G(lavnoye) U(pravleniye Ispravitelno-Trudovykh) Lag(erei) Main Administration for Corrective Labour Camps]


(ˈgu lɑg)

n. (sometimes cap.)
1. the system of forced-labor camps in the Soviet Union.
2. a Soviet forced-labor camp.
3. any prison or detention camp, esp. for political prisoners.
[1970–75; < Russian Gulág, acronym from Glávnoe upravlénie ispravítel'no-trudovýkh lageréĭ Main Directorate of Corrective Labor Camps]


1. A Russian word, originally an acronym, meaning a forcedlabor camp.
2. The Russian administration of forced labor camps (acronym for State, or Main, Administration of Corrective Labor Camps) from the 1930s. Used for detention of political opponents, especially intellectuals.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gulag - a Russian prison camp for political prisoners
internment camp, POW camp, prison camp, prisoner of war camp - a camp for prisoners of war