[krem-lin] /ˈkrɛm lɪn/

the Kremlin.

the citadel of any Russian city
the 12th-century citadel in Moscow, containing the former Imperial Palace, three Cathedrals, and the offices of the Russian government
(formerly) the central government of the Soviet Union

1660s, Cremelena, from Old Russian kremlinu, later kremlin (1796), from kreml’ “citadel, fortress,” perhaps of Tartar origin. Originally the citadel of any Russian city, now especially the one in Moscow. Used metonymically for “government of the U.S.S.R.” from 1933. The modern form of the word in English might be via French.

A fortress in central Moscow that contains the central offices of the government of Russia and, formerly, the offices of the Soviet Union.

Note: The term Kremlin was also used figuratively to mean the former Soviet government.


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