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Russian boyars (16-17th century)

From Russian боя́ре (bojáre), plural of боя́рин (bojárin).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbɔɪɑː/, /ˈbəʊjɑː/, /bəʊˈjɑː/


boyar (plural boyars)

  1. (historical) A member of a rank of aristocracy (second only to princes) in Russia, Bulgaria and Romania.
    • 1997, John Julius Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium, Penguin 1998, p. 159:
      Boris had abdicated in 889, leaving the throne to his son Vladimir, who had immediately identified himself with the boyar aristocracy which Boris had done his utmost to crush.
    • 2007, John Darwin, After Tamerlane, Penguin 2008, p. 68:
      A long series of wars was fought in the sixteenth century to keep Polish influence at bay in the West Russian lands, and prevent it from seducing Muscovy's restless boyars, the warrior-barons whose independence the grand dukes were determined to crush.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 514:
      some of his family looked to Orthodox Christianity to sustain them, and not only many of his boyars but most of his subjects were Orthodox Christians.