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Ultimately from Old East Slavic Москов- (Moskov-), originally referring to the Moskva River, probably from Proto-Slavic *mosky (“swamp, dampness, moisture”). Perhaps related to Czech moskva (raw bread), Slovak mozga (puddle), Polish Mozgawa, and more distantly Latvian mazgāt (to wash, rinse), Sanskrit मज्जति (májjati, to sink), Latin mergō (to dive),[1] all from Proto-Indo-European *mesg- (to plunge, dip). Cognate with Russian промозглый (promozglyj, dank).


Proper noun[edit]


  1. A federal city, the capital and largest city of Russia.
    Alternative form: Moskva
    • 1917, Anton Chekhov, translated by Constance Garnett, The Darling and Other Stories[1], Project Gutenberg, published 9 September 2004, →ISBN, page 71:
      The mother, Ekaterina Pavlovna, who at one time had been handsome, but now, asthmatic, depressed, vague, and over-feeble for her years, tried to entertain me with conversation about painting. Having heard from her daughter that I might come to Shelkovka, she had hurriedly recalled two or three of my landscapes which she had seen in exhibitions in Moscow, and now asked what I meant to express by them.
    • 2005, Bill Clinton, My Life[2], volume II, New York: Vintage Books, →ISBN, →OCLC, →OL, page 49:
      I was inclined to accept Yeltsin's invitation to go to Russia, but Tony Lake said Moscow shouldn't be my first foreign stop, and the rest of my team said it would divert attention from our domestic agenda.
  2. Moscow Oblast, an oblast of Russia, surrounding the city, which itself is not part of the oblast.
    Alternative form: Moskva
  3. (metonymically, politics) The government of Russia or the Soviet Union.
    Synonym: Kremlin
    • 1927 May, Quincy Wright, “Bolshevist Influences in China”, in Current History[3], volume XXVI, number 2, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 302, column 2:
      Moscow doubtless wants to make trouble for the Western Powers so far as she can without losing their recognition or encouraging actual hostility. She wants peace and trade and an opportunity for internal economic reconstruction above everything just now. It seems doubtful whether she expects to Bolshevize China, though she wants China fully independent of Western imperialism and friendly to her.
    • 1956, Harry S. Truman, Memoirs of Harry S. Truman: Years of Trial And Hope[4], volume II, Doubleday & Company, →OCLC, pages 345–346:
      I could not agree with the tactics or approach of those who, like Chiang Kai-shek in a speech on July 3, 1950, wanted the U.N. to charge the Russians with the full responsibility for this Korean conflict and to demand that Moscow put an end to it. This kind of bluster is certain to lead into an impossible dilemma. If these suggestions had been followed and the Soviets had ignored the order, as in all likelihood they would have done, either the United Nations would have stood convicted of weakness or World War III would have been on.
    • 1971, Lyndon Johnson, “Thawing the Cold War”, in The Vantage Point[5], Holt, Reinhart & Winston, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, pages 464–465:
      The translation of Khrushchev's letter reached me later that day, and I read it with care and with growing disappointment. It seemed designed for propaganda purposes rather than serious diplomacy. Khrushchev roundly denounced "colonizers" and "imperialism" as the major causes of past wars. Of course, he did not mention the Soviet Union's attack on Finland, the obliteration of the Baltic states, or the "colonization" of Eastern Europe by Moscow after World War II.
    • 1987, Shelomoh Naḳdimon, First strike: the exclusive story of how Israel foiled Iraq's attempt to get the bomb[6], page 40:
      Moscow said "Nyet!"
    • 1997, Mervin Block, Writing Broadcast News: Shorter, Sharper, Stronger[7], →ISBN, page 154:
      Yet, a few US newscasters will go on the air at 6 pm or later and say, "Moscow said tonight.["] ... A careful writer would make his script read, "Moscow said today. ..."
    • 2009, Svante E. Cornell, S. Frederick Star, The Guns of August 2008: Russia's War in Georgia[8], →ISBN, page 184:
      In addition, Moscow argued that Georgia had violated international law by introducing its forces into South Ossetia, a move Moscow said Tbilisi had committed itself not to do under the earlier CIS-sponsored peacekeeping arrangements.
  4. A large number of places in the United States:
    1. A city, the county seat of Latah County, Idaho; probably named after the Russian city.
    2. A borough of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.
    3. A small town in Iowa County, Wisconsin; named after the Mascouten tribe.
    4. A small city in Fayette County, Tennessee; named after Mosgo, a Cherokee chief.
    5. A small town in Somerset County, Maine.
    6. A tiny city in Stevens County, Kansas; said to be named after Luis de Moscoso Alvarado, a Spanish explorer.
    7. A village in Clermont County, Ohio; said to be named by French veterans of Napoleon's siege of Moscow.
    8. A census-designated place in Allegany County, Maryland.
    9. An unincorporated community in Lamar County, Alabama.
    10. An unincorporated community in Marengo County, Alabama.
    11. An unincorporated community in Jefferson County, Arkansas.
    12. An unincorporated community in Rush County, Indiana.
    13. An unincorporated community in Muscatine County, Iowa.
    14. An unincorporated community in Hickman County, Kentucky.
    15. An unincorporated community in Hillsdale County, Michigan
    16. An unincorporated community in Freeborn County, Minnesota.
    17. An unincorporated community in Kemper County, Mississippi.
    18. An unincorporated community in Polk County, Texas.
    19. An unincorporated community in the town of Stowe, Lamoille County, Vermont.
    20. An unincorporated community in Hancock County, West Virginia.
    21. A ghost town in Licking County, Ohio.
  5. A hamlet in East Ayrshire council area, Scotland; probably named or re-named in 1812 for Napoleon's retreat from Moscow (OS grid ref NS4840).
  6. A village in Kottayam district, Kerala, India; named due to Soviet influence in Kerala during the Cold War.
  7. (MLE, slang) A nickname for A Brandon Estate, a social housing estate in Southwark, Central London.

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  1. ^ Vasmer, Max (1964–1973), “Москва”, in Этимологический словарь русского языка [Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language] (in Russian), transl. & suppl. by Oleg Trubachyov, Moscow: Progress