Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Poland, the commander of an army. The great hetman was formerly the commander-in-chief in the old kingdom of Poland.
  • noun Among the Cossacks, formerly, the elected chief of each of their principal communities; a Cossack chief; an ataman.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A Cossack headman or general. The title of chief hetman is now held by the heir to the throne of Russia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A Cossack headman or general.
  • noun Title used by the second-highest military commander in Poland and Lithuania (15th to 18th century).

Etymologies

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

[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).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

  • "I've always heard that the name hetman is not just historical but a word that mean charismatic and strong military leader," Shaw explains.

    News on www.kyivpost.com

  • They looked up at me stupidly and pointed, but just then the "hetman" of the Szgany came out, and seeing them pointing to my window, said something, at which they laughed.

    Dracula

  • They looked up at me stupidly and pointed, but just then the "hetman" of the Szgany came out, and seeing them pointing to my window, said something, at which they laughed.

    Dracula

  • But the imprudent Swede turned southward into the district of the _Ukraine_, there to be joined by _Mazeppa_, the "hetman" of the Cossacks, who led them in revolt against

    Outline of Universal History

  • Matvei Ivanovich Platoff, hetman of Cossacks, and Russian commander in the

    Letter 292

  • Matvei Ivanovich Platoff, hetman of Cossacks, and Russian commander in the

    Letter 290

  • Fortunately, he was not a hetman of Cossacks for nothing.

    The Sky Writer

  • Now it is a new Russia, and instead of the hetman we have rulers from Moscow to govern the tribe.

    The Sky Writer

  • We owed loyalty to none but our comrades and the hetman we elected to lead us - I was such a one.

    The Sky Writer

  • Conan, working as a hetman of the Free Peoples is on the trail of a girl he had met in camp.

    Archive 2007-03-01

Comments

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  • Careful, the plural is hetmans.

    October 16, 2010