1. A former empire of eastern Europe and northern Asia. From a collection of mostly Slavic principalities dominated by the Tatars, Russia emerged as a unified state centered around Moscow between the 14th and 16th centuries. The empire spread quickly to the east and south, becoming a world power by the 18th century. In the 19th century, Russia experienced a flowering of the arts and literature and some liberal social reforms, but popular discontent with the conservative Tsarist government led to revolutions in 1905 and 1917, the collapse of the empire, and the formation of the USSR in 1922.
2. Officially Russian Federation A country of eastern Europe and northern Asia stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Formerly the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, the largest of the constituent republics of the USSR, it became an independent state in 1991 with Boris Yeltsin as the country's first directly elected president. In that same year, with Belarus and Ukraine, Russia formed the Commonwealth of Independent States, which was eventually joined by 12 of the 15 former Soviet republics. In March 1992 Russia signed a treaty with most of the semiautonomous ethnic territories within its borders, establishing the Russian Federation. Moscow is the capital.
(click for a larger image)Russia
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.