acquired name (Russian, literally "debauchee") of Grigory Yefimovich Novykh (c. 1872-1916), mystic and faith healer who held sway over court of Nicholas II of Russia. His nickname is from his doctrine of "rebirth through sin," that true holy communion must be preceded by immersion in sin. His name has been used figuratively in English from 1937 for anyone felt to wield an insidious and corrupting influence.

updated on April 13, 2021

Definitions of Rasputin from WordNet

Rasputin (n.)
Siberian peasant monk who was religious advisor in the court of Nicholas II; was assassinated by Russian noblemen who feared that his debauchery would weaken the monarchy (1872-1916);
Synonyms: Grigori Efimovich Rasputin
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