Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of a class of higher Russian nobility that until the time of Peter I headed the civil and military administration of the country and participated in an early duma.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rank of aristocracy (second only to princes) in Russia, Bulgaria and Romania.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A member of a Russian aristocratic order abolished by Peter the Great. Also, one of a privileged class in Roumania.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A personal title given to the highest class of Russian officials previous to the reign of Peter the Great.

Etymologies

From boiaren, from Russian boyarin, from Old Russian boljarin, from Turkic baylar, pl. of bay, rich, Turkish bay, rich, gentleman.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old East Slavic  (boyare) ( > Russian бояре), plural of боярин, of uncertain origin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • No matter how much money there is to be made in Russia these days, it ultimately doesn't count for much the day a boyar or simple chinovnik decides to take it away.

    Russia's Crony Statism

  • They attach themselves as a rule to some great noble or boyar, and call themselves by his name.

    Dracula

  • All fire — simply explosive as gunpowder — and stately as a boyar!

    A Sportsman's Sketches

  • The death of Boris at this crucial time initiated a period of utmost confusion, during which boyar families struggled for supremacy while their position was challenged by the poorer classes (led by the Cossacks) and while foreigners (Poles and Swedes) took full advantage of the situation to further their own interests.

    1582

  • The new tsar acted against the jealousy of other boyar families with intrigue and persecution.

    1582

  • The Russians then deposed Basil, and a boyar faction offered the throne to Wladyslaw, son of Sigismund.

    1582

  • Peter succeeded to leadership of the movement after the murder of Asen by boyar (i.e., noble) conspirators.

    g. The Second Bulgarian Empire

  • The regency was in the hands of his mother, Helen Glinski (of Lithuanian family), until 1538, and then fell into the hands of powerful noble (boyar) families, notably the Shuiskys and Belskys.

    i. Russia

  • This he afterwards explained by saying that to a boyar the pride of his house and name is his own pride, that their glory is his glory, that their fate is his fate.

    The Deadlocked City

  • The advocacy of the dismemberment of "bourgeois-boyar" Greater Romania, to which the author alludes, was perpetrated, in various articles, signed by some of those who were the power behind the (communist) throne, namely Timotei Marin (Tima) and Ghita Moscu, who demanded that the Act of December 1, 1918, sanctioning the unification of Transylvania with Romania, be declared null and void.

    Survival in Romania

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