noun, plural Men·she·viks, Men·she·vik·i [men-shuh-vik-ee, -vee-kee; Russian myin-shi-vyi-kyee] /ˈmɛn ʃəˌvɪk i, -ˌvi ki; Russian myɪn ʃɪ vyɪˈkyi/.
- a member of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party in opposition to the Bolsheviks: advocated gradual development of full socialism through parliamentary government and cooperation with bourgeois parties; absorbed into the Communist party formed in 1918.
- a member of the moderate wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party, advocating gradual reform to achieve socialismCompare Bolshevik
adj.1907, from Russian men’shevik, from men’she “lesser” (comparative of malo “little,” from PIE root *mei- “small;” see minus) + -evik “one that is.” So called by Lenin because they were a minority in the party. Earlier used in reference to the minority faction of the Social-Democratic Party, when it split in 1903. As a noun from 1917. Russian plural mensheviki occasionally was used in English.