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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
But this figure is enormously reliant on those incarcerated in European penal labor camps, principally in Mussolini's Italy and Franco's Spain (5 million), which were an extralegal phenomenon and did not involve permanent or long-distance migration, and on the key case of Russia and the USSR (where she gives a total of 11.9 million Gulag internees--26.9 million if all deportees are included).
'' It's like Stalin visiting a gulag and giving a thumbs up to the cameras
Museum displays horror of dark pastMoscow is home to Gulag History Museum.
Two additional chapters deal with the spontaneous (that is, not officially organized or sanctioned) music making of the prisoners and with the "Aderlass" (bloodletting) of Soviet music life, that is, the loss of musical talent to the Gulag.
The sheer quantity of prisoners sent to northern gulags was used to compensate for the inefficiency of this model of development.
He said: "I don't mind being called a monster but I do not like Shirebrook being referred to as a gulag."
Stalinist Russia and the horrors of the Gulag agency's forced labor camps are the focus of Lebedev's brutal and stylish debut novel.
In this article, the notion of "Gulag" is a pinnacle of and represents the unjust and often radical suffering experienced not only by the subjects of the Soviet system but also, in various forms, by people throughout Eastern Europe.
An innovative study of the Soviet Gulag that combines narrative skill with factual accuracy.
Other regulars are Tina Frey as the gulag commandant and Ty Burrell as a Clouseaulike cop.