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[sah-miz-daht; Russian suh-myiz-daht] /ˈsɑ mɪzˌdɑt; Russian sə myɪzˈdɑt/
a clandestine publishing system within the Soviet Union, by which forbidden or unpublishable literature was reproduced and circulated privately.
a work or periodical circulated by this system.
Origin of samizdat
1965-70; < Russian samizdát, equivalent to sam(o)- self- + izdát(el'stvo) publishing agency; coined as a jocular allusion to the compound names of official Soviet publishing organs, e.g., Gosizdát for Gosudárstvennoe izdátel'stvo State Publishing House Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for samizdat
Historical Examples
  • The bigger the market – the more pressure is applied to clamp down on the samizdat entrepreneurs.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
British Dictionary definitions for samizdat


/Russian səmizˈdat/
noun (in the former Soviet Union)
  1. a system of clandestine printing and distribution of banned or dissident literature
  2. (as modifier): a samizdat publication
Word Origin
C20: from Russian, literally: self-published
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 samizdat

"illegal and clandestine copying and sharing of literature," 1967, from Russian samizdat, literally "self-publishing," from sam "self" (see same) + izdatel'stvo "publishing" (from iz "from, out of," from PIE *eghs; see ex-; + dat' "to give," from PIE *do-; see date (n.1)). Said to be a word-play on Gosizdat, the former state publishing house of the U.S.S.R. One who took part in it was a samizdatchik (plural samizdatchiki).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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samizdat in Technology

(Russian, literally "self publishing") The process of disseminating documentation via underground channels. Originally referred to photocopy duplication and distribution of banned books in the former Soviet Union; now refers by obvious extension to any less-than-official promulgation of textual material, especially rare, obsolete, or never-formally-published computer documentation. Samizdat is obviously much easier when one has access to high-bandwidth networks and high-quality laser printers.
Strictly, "samizdat" only applies to distribution of needed documents that are otherwise unavailable, and not to duplication of material that is available for sale under copyright.
See Lions Book for a historical example.
See also: hacker ethic.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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