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[ruh-skawl-nik] /rəˈskɔl nɪk/
noun, plural Raskolniks, Raskolniki
[ruh-skawl-ni-kee] /rəˈskɔl nɪˌki/ (Show IPA)
a member of any of several sects founded by dissenters from the Russian Orthodox Church who opposed the liturgical reforms of Nikon in the 17th century.
Also called Old Believer, Old Ritualist.
Origin of Raskolnik
< Russian raskólʾnik schismatic, equivalent to raskól split, schism (noun derivative of raskolótʾ to split; ras- v. prefix marking dissolution, fracture + kolotʾ to chop) + -nik agent suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for raskolniki
Historical Examples
  • The famous raskolniki Schismatics had a similar superstition about the beard.

  • Also, if you will allow me, your Highness, I will go and have a talk with the raskolniki.

    Dead Souls Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
  • The famous raskolniki schismatics had a similar superstition to the Mahometan one mentioned above.

    Ten Thousand Wonderful Things Edmund Fillingham King
Word Origin and History for raskolniki


"dissenter from the Russian Church, an Old Believer," 1723, from Russian Raskolnik "separatist," from raskol "schism, separation." The schism was a result of reforms by Patriarch Nikon in 1667.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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