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1830, from Russian samovar, literally "self-boiler," from sam "self" (see same) + varit "to boil" (from Old Church Slavonic variti "to cook," from PIE root *wer- "to burn"); but this is perhaps folk-etymology if the word is from Tatar sanabar "tea-urn."
metal urn, often of brass, with a spigot near its base, widely used in Russia to boil water for tea. In traditional samovars water is heated by means of a vertical tube, containing burning charcoal, running up the middle of the urn. A filled teapot is set atop the chimney to steep. A lighter brew can be obtained by adding more water to the teacup from the spigot. Traditionally, a samovar was used for all household needs that required hot water, and almost all families possessed one.