An inmate of a Soviet labor camp.
Origin of zekRussian, from abbr. for zaklyuch&edie;nny&ibreve;, prisoner, from past passive participle of zaklyuchat', to imprison, from klyuch, key, from Old Church Slavonic ključ&ibreve;.
- A prisoner at a Russian prison, especially (historical) at a Soviet labour camp. [from 20th c.]
From Russian Ð·ÑÐº (zÃ¨k), probably representing a pronunciation of Ð·/Ðº (z/k), Soviet abbreviation of Ð·Ð°ÐºÐ»ÑŽÑ‡Ñ‘Ð½Ð½Ñ‹Ð¹ (zakljuÄÃ«nnyj, “prisoner").