hetman

hetman

[het-muhn]
noun, plural hetmans.
1.
the title assumed by the chief of Ukrainian Cossacks of the Dnieper River region, with headquarters at Zaporozhe.

Origin:
1700–10; < Ukrainian hét'man < Polish hetman < an eastern dial. form of Middle High German houbetman leader, chief (German Hauptmann captain; compare German dial. (Silesia) Hettmann, Hötmann; see head, man1)

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hetman (ˈhɛtmən)
 
n , pl -mans
another word for ataman
 
[C18: from Polish, from German Hauptmann headman]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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hetman

military title used in the Polish-Lithuanian state (16th-18th century); the hetman wielki ("great hetman") was the chief of the armed forces and the commander in the field when the king was not present. In Ukraine a variation of the term, ataman, was used to designate the military leader of the Zaporozhian Cossacks (16th century) and the prince of the area east of the Dnieper River (17th-18th century). Ataman was also the name of the elected commander of the various great Cossack hosts in Russia; after 1723, however, only atamans of the villages were elected.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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