from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. See ataman.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A Cossack headman or general.
- n. Title used by the second-highest military commander in Poland and Lithuania (15th to 18th century).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A Cossack headman or general. The title of chief hetman is now held by the heir to the throne of Russia.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Poland, the commander of an army. The great hetman was formerly the commander-in-chief in the old kingdom of Poland.
- n. Among the Cossacks, formerly, the elected chief of each of their principal communities; a Cossack chief; an ataman.
Ukrainian het'man, from Polish hetman, from German dialectal hötmann, hetmann, captain; akin to German Hauptmann, from Middle High German houbetman : houbet, head (from Old High German houbit; see kaput- in Indo-European roots) + man, man (from Old High German; see fugleman).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Polish hetman, probably from Middle High German houbetman, heuptman ("commander"), from houbet, heupt ("head"), related to Latin caput ("head"), + Middle High German man ("man"). Compare modern German Hauptmann ("captain"), Haupt, Mann. The Polish e in hetman attests to a borrowing from an East Central German dialect, where Middle High German öu gives ē. (Wiktionary)