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13 Essential Literary Terms

refusenik

[ri-fyooz-nik] /rɪˈfyuz nɪk/
noun, Informal.
1.
a Soviet citizen, usually Jewish, who was denied permission to emigrate from the Soviet Union.
Also, refusnik.
Origin
1970-1975
1970-75; refuse + -nik, perhaps translation of Russian otkáznik (unless the Russ word is itself a translation of refusenik)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for refusenik

refusenik

/rɪˈfjuːznɪk/
noun
1.
(formerly) a Jew in the Soviet Union who had been refused permission to emigrate
2.
a person who refuses to cooperate with a system or comply with a law because of a moral conviction
Word Origin
C20: from refuse1 + -nik
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for refusenik

Refusenik

n.

"Soviet Jew who has been refused permission to emigrate to Israel," 1975, a partial translation of Russian otkaznik, from otkazat "to refuse;" with English refuse (v.). Also cf. -nik.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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