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Eastern Slavs

See under Slav (def 1).


[slahv, slav] /slɑv, slæv/
one of a group of peoples in eastern, southeastern, and central Europe, including the Russians and Ruthenians (Eastern Slavs) the Bulgars, Serbs, Croats, Slavonians, Slovenes, etc. (Southern Slavs) and the Poles, Czechs, Moravians, Slovaks, etc. (Western Slavs)
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the Slavs; Slavic.
1350-1400; < Medieval Latin Slāvus, variant of Sclāvus, akin to Late Greek Sklábos < a Slavic ethnonym, perhaps originally a name for all Slavic tribes (cf. Slovak, Slovene, Old Russian Slověně an East Slavic tribe); replacing Middle English Sclave < Medieval Latin Sclāvus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Eastern Slavs


a member of any of the peoples of E Europe or NW Asia who speak a Slavonic language
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin Sclāvus a captive Slav; see slave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Eastern Slavs
late 14c., Sclave, from M.L. Sclavus (c.800), from Byzantine Gk. Sklabos (c.580), from O.Slav. Sloveninu "a Slav," probably related to slovo "word, speech," which suggests the name originally meant member of a speech community (cf. O.C.S. Nemici "Germans," related to nemu "dumb;" and cf. O.E. þeode, which meant both "race" and "language"). Identical with the -slav in personal names (e.g. Rus. Miroslav, lit. "peaceful fame;" Mstislav, lit. "vengeful fame;" Jaroslav, lit. "famed for fury;" Czech Bohuslav, lit. "God's glory;" and cf. Wenceslas). Spelled Slave c.1788-1866, influenced by Fr. and Ger. Slave. Adj. Slavic is attested from 1813; earlier Slavonic (1640s), from Slavonia, a region of Croatia.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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