From the second edition (1989):
pogrom, n.
(pəˈgrɒm, ˈpɒgrɒm) [Russian pogrom, devastation, destruction.]


a. An organized massacre in Russia for the destruction or annihilation of any body or class: orig. and esp. applied to those directed against the Jews.

[1882 Times 17 Mar. 3/6 That the ‘Pogromen’ (riots against the Jews) must be stopped.] 1905 Daily News 12 June 5 The only means of combating the ‘pogroms’ is armed resistance. 1906 Westm. Gaz. 21 June 12/1 The Russian word ‘pogrom’ (pronounced with stress on the final syllable) is generally translated ‘desolation, devastation’. The word is related to the Russian words grom, thunder, the thunder-clash, and to gromit, to thunder, to batter down as with a thunderbolt, to destroy without pity. 1919 N. Sokolow Hist. Zionism II. p. li, Not even the dark ages extracted so heavy a toll of Jewish blood: something like 1400 pogroms took place all over the Ghetto. 1968 New Left Rev. Jan.-Feb. 65 Then came the years of galloping inflation, of the pogroms, of acute social, political and intellectual ferment. 1979 O. Sela Petrograd Consignment 142 Wasn't he eager to go back to Russia‥to read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion again; wasn't another pogrom all he lived for.


b. In general use: an organized, officially tolerated, attack on any community or group. Also fig.

1906 Tribune 16 June 7/2 This was the immediate signal for a pogrom, or organized riot. 1920 H. J. C. Grierson in Proc. Brit. Acad. 1919–1920 433 Only Henley refused to take part in the ‘pogrom’; and he alas! died before completing his work as champion, critic, and editor of Byron. 1928 ‘S. S. Van Dine’ Greene Murder Case i. 13, I note that our upliftin' Press bedecked its front pages this morning with headlines about a pogrom at the old Greene mansion last night. 1936 H. A. L. Fisher Hist. Europe i. xviii. 232 The Greek Empire‥had disgraced itself by a pogrom against the French and Italian colony in Constantinople. 1964 New Statesman 13 Mar. 405/1 On 20 March 1914 58 British cavalry officers, stationed in Ireland, announced that they would not obey the orders of their lawful superiors.‥ The cry of ‘mutiny’ was answered by the charge that there had been a plot—a ‘pogrom’ in the contemporary phrase—to crush Ulster's resistance to Home Rule by force of arms. 1967 T. Gunn Touch 27 Am I Your mother or The nearest human being to Hold on to in a Dreamed pogrom. 1971 Sunday Times 13 June 12/4 The army units, after clearing out the rebels, pursued the pogrom in the towns and villages. 1975 R. Browning Emperor Julian iii. 51 Hannibalianus had been killed in 337 in the pogrom of his relations engineered by Constantius.


c. attrib. and Comb.

1931 Times Lit. Suppl. 5 Nov. 855/2 Refugees to England from pogrom-haunted Russia. 1941 Koestler Scum of Earth 85 The French Government discovered a welcome diversion from the general discontent by exploiting the people's natural hostility to foreigners, and appealing to their pogrom instincts. 1949 —— Promise & Fulfilment i. vii. 69 Many of these young men had been members of the Jewish self-defence organizations in the pogrom-threatened small towns of Russia. 1978 D. Murphy Place Apart viii. 167 Few of us would wish to see our army crossing the [Irish] border to fight Loyalist paramilitaries.‥ If another ‘pogrom’ situation did arise‥it would make more sense to welcome‥refugees into the Republic.


Hence poˈgromist (also stressed ˈpogromist), an organizer of or participant in a pogrom.

1907 Athenæum 26 Jan. 99 Small wonder that the ‘pogromists’ laugh at Europe, and now pursue their work without intermission or disguise. 1960 S. Becker tr. A. Schwarz-Bart's Last of Just (1961) ii. 87 The pogromists were White Guards. 1962 Guardian 13 Oct. 6/3 Hate~mongers and pogromists. 1963 Times 24 Jan. 8/7 However, he criticized the ‘complete lack of publicity in the Soviet press’ and said that neither the pogromists nor the local police and prosecutors who abetted them had been punished or reprimanded. 1978 I. B. Singer Shosha xiv. 254 People sacrificed themselves for Stalin, for Petlura, for Machno, for every pogromist.