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[sam-uh-vahr, sam-uh-vahr] /ˈsæm əˌvɑr, ˌsæm əˈvɑr/
a metal urn, used especially by Russians for heating water for making tea.
Origin of samovar
1820-30; < Russian samovár, equivalent to samo- self (see same) + -var, noun derivative of varítʾ to cook, boil Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for samovar
Historical Examples
  • The samovar was brought in, and over hot tea and buns we speedily became acquainted.

  • The maid brought in the samovar, and the conversation was interrupted.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • They have been ready since midnight, and the samovar also; you will drink a glass of tea, Excellencies.

    The Red Symbol John Ironside
  • At this moment the servant came in with the samovar, or tea-urn.

    Condemned as a Nihilist George Alfred Henty
  • We can boil you some crayfish or set the samovar, but we've nothing more.

    The Possessed Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • But there was no more water in the samovar, so the hostess did not fill it up for him.

    Master and Man Leo Tolstoy
  • The window is wide open, so that all may see; on the table stands a samovar, glasses of red wine, and eatables.

    Yiddish Tales Various
  • The samovar is hissing on the table by the stove, the tea things are set out.

  • There was a samovar already steaming in the cottage, and a great cake of pastry, and cabbage and egg and fish.

    Old Peter's Russian Tales Arthur Ransome
  • "samovar" so pleased the Czar that young Bordunov was given a pension and a bath.

    Bizarre Lawton Mackall
British Dictionary definitions for samovar


/ˈsæməˌvɑː; ˌsæməˈvɑː/
(esp in Russia) a metal urn for making tea, in which the water is heated esp formerly by charcoal held in an inner container or nowadays more usually by electricity
Word Origin
C19: from Russian, from samo- self (related to same) + varit' to boil
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 samovar

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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