Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A metal urn with a spigot, used to boil water for tea and traditionally having a chimney and heated by coals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A copper urn used in Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, and elsewhere, in which water is kept boiling for use when required for making tea, live charcoal being placed in a tube which passes up through the center of the urn. Similar vessels are used in winter in northern China, for keeping soups, etc., hot at table.

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

  • noun A metal urn used in Russia for making tea. It is filled with water, which is heated by charcoal placed in a pipe, with chimney attached, which passes through the urn.

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

  • noun A metal urn with a spigot, for boiling water for making tea. Traditionally, the water is heated by hot coals or charcoal in a chimney-like tube which runs through the center of the urn. Today, it is more likely that the water is heated by an electric coil. It is a common misconception that tea is boiled in the samovar. This is not the case. The samovar merely boils the water, which is drawn off via the spigot into a separate teapot in which the tea is allowed to steep.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a metal urn with a spigot at the base; used in Russia to boil water for tea

Etymologies

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

[Russian : samo, self; see sem- in Indo-European roots + varit', to boil.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Russian самовар (samovár, "self-boiler"); from само ("self") + варить (""to boil" or "to cook"")

Examples

  • She turned to me and explained, “A samovar is a Russian urn.”

    Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major

  • She turned to me and explained, “A samovar is a Russian urn.”

    Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major

  • She turned to me and explained, “A samovar is a Russian urn.”

    Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major

  • The samovar was most welcome, and in fact the samovar is the most essential thing in Russia, especially at times of particularly awful, sudden, and eccentric catastrophes and misfortunes; even the mother was induced to drink two cups — though, of course, only with much urging and almost compulsion.

    A Raw Youth

  • Their route took them away from the Neva, where was the greatest crowd, and they soon reached the entrance of the pleasure-garden, climbed the great flight of wooden stairs to the pavilion on top, where Ivan hired a sled, and paid for a glass of tea hot from the big brass samovar, which is always boiling and ready for use.

    Harper's Young People, December 9, 1879 An Illustrated Weekly

  • The samovar is a little one, and before the visitors have drunk all the tea they want, she has to heat it five times.

    The Cook's Wedding and Other Stories

  • A huge, steaming tea-urn, called a samovar -- etymologically, a "self-boiler" -- will be brought in, and you will make your tea according to your taste.

    Russia

  • The samovar is a simple but brilliant way of preparing tea, as well as being a source of cultural pride.

    EuropeUpClose

  • He would offer him bread and salt, the burning charcoal would be put into the "samovar," and he would be made quite at home.

    Michael Strogoff : or the Courier of the Czar

  • He would offer him bread and salt, the burning charcoal would be put into the "samovar," and he would be made quite at home.

    Michael Strogoff Or, The Courier of the Czar

Comments

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  • "I will bleed your heart through a samovar soon"

    ~ the decemberists

    March 29, 2009

  • Toufer: *Complaining to Liz* Surely our massive conglomerate parent company could spring for a samovar of coffee.

    Frank: Yeah, or, like, a big coffee dispenser!

    Toufer: *Condescendingly* That's what a samovar is.

    Frank: Are there other black nerds, or is it just you and Urkel?

    *Toofer just stares at Frank*

    30 Rock, via imdb.com

    March 30, 2009

  • Samovars dispensing coffee? I think not. Traditional Russians make their coffee the Turkish way, in a little pot over a flame. Samovars are used only for tea.

    March 30, 2009

  • funny quotes should be met with a lawl, not pedantry. Well, it's fitting, I hear that Russians have a different brand of humor than most.

    March 30, 2009

  • I value rolig's contribution to this page, and to any and all Wordie pages.

    March 30, 2009

  • We all do. Moreover, I've never seen anyone have coffee with lawl, but many with pedantry. I prefer to have it with my friends.

    March 30, 2009

  • I've seen a samovar of coffee, in Russia. It served coffee in the canteen at my language school in Karelia. It was less far less elegant than its tea counterpart and was labelled Coffee whereas the tea one was not, perhaps in line with the assumption of which rolig speaks.

    March 30, 2009

  • I like to think of the self-service soda fountains at Burger King as samovars.

    March 30, 2009

  • It was a valid point, I was just being sarcastic.

    Borrowed words have a way of getting either under- or over-generalized (to make a generalization :p).

    March 30, 2009

  • I have a sizeable samovar on my huge desk.

    March 30, 2009