troika

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See also: troïka and Troika

English[edit]

Troika with wolves. A Palekh miniature on a cigarette case

Etymology[edit]

From Russian тройка (trójka).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

troika (plural troikas)

  1. A Russian carriage drawn by a team of three horses abreast.
    • 1880, Constance Garnett, translating Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, Book XII, Chapter VI, page 787:
      A great writer of the last epoch, comparing Russia to a swift troika galloping to an unknown goal, exclaims 'Oh, troika, birdlike troika, who invented thee!' and adds, in proud ecstasy, that all the peoples of the world stand aside respectfully to make way for the recklessly galloping troika to pass.
    • 1960, Lesley Blanch, The Sabres of Paradise: Conquest and Vengeance in the Caucasus, Tauris Parke Paperbacks (2006), ISBN 1850434034, page 145:
      When Gogol wrote his great passage on the troika speeding across the steppes, he likened it to Russia itself, advancing across the earth.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia, Oxford University Press (2001), ISBN 0192802321, page 367:
      Travelling part of the way by rail and the remainder by troika, he reached Orenburg shortly before Christmas.
  2. A party or group of three.
    • 1981, Martin Cruz Smith, Gorky Park, Ballantine Books (2007), ISBN 9780812977240, page 3:
      The investigator suspected the poor dead bastards were just a vodka troika that had cheerily frozen to death.
    • 1995, Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2, Macmillan (2011), ISBN 9781466803688, unnumbered page:
      The bare troika of Boolean operators brought them into metaphorical being.
    • 2006, Barney Hoskyns, Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends, John Wiley & Sons (2006), ISBN 9780471732730, page 265:
      “He said, 'Let me get the best people.' And that's what he did. He got John Kalodner and Gary Gersh and Tom Zutaut, and they became stars in their own right.” Over the ensuing decade, that troika of talent-finders would bring a host of multiplatinum artists—from Cher and Aerosmith to Guns N' Roses and Nirvana—to Geffen.
    • 2013, Tom Shone, "Oscar nominations pull a surprise by showing some taste – but will it last?", The Guardian, 11 January 2013:
      No longer is the best picture going to be a toss-up between that troika of national-historical heavies: Argo, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.
  3. A committee consisting of three leaders; a triumvirate

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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