My grandmother says that in a phrase it is "a big field where people gather", but I can't think of a more succinct way to express this idea. Google translate says "public square", but to me this implies an urban setting.

  • Unfortunately, asking about translations to other languages is off-topic (suggested on Meta). However, this question can be easily salvaged if it asked about the etymology and the origin of the word. P.S. /meidan/ is "square, big area" in many Turkic languages, incl. Crimean Tatar. Oct 9, 2017 at 2:10
  • @FracturedRetina Yes, it’s urban setting, because here майдан is the main [central] square in a city (not always or more correct — not anywhere). Other squares are defined as площа — just a square. But Майдан also can mean a meeting of a big number of people at this maidan for solving political problems. Famous maidan: Majdan Nezaležnosti Oct 9, 2017 at 2:23
  • Here you can read personal opinion of Borys Antonenko-Davydovych for the meaning of this word
    – Yola
    Oct 9, 2017 at 7:34
  • 1
    In fact, майдан doesn't necessarily mean urban setting. Originally it's really an open place where people gather (see майдан in dictionary; or famous poem «Останнє прохання старого лірника» a.k.a. «Переведіть мене через майдан» (more known due to the appearance of its Russian translation as a song in a film, but being originally Ukrainian)). However in minds of modern urban citizens the word really more associates with urban setting (they can't imagine other).
    – Sasha
    Oct 9, 2017 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


As Sasha already mentioned, the dictionary known as SUM-11 defines майдан as:

  1. An open area without buildings in a city or in a village; a square. // area where a Bazar is situated (this can be even outside of the city).
  2. Same as майданчик (small area for building (будівельний майданчик), sport activity (спортивний майданчик), dance floor (танцювальний майданчик), etc.
  3. In some dialects - forest glade
  4. (etc.)

So, as you can see, there is no true "urban" bindings here. Possibly this feeling about this word can be explained by the fact that "the main" square of the country is called Майдан Незалежності (while most other squares are "площа") and that many state-wide influential events happened there.

However (as Yola noticed), Borys Antonenko-Davydovych thought that майдан should be used instead of the word площа in all non-mathematical meanings (I guess in English it would be area for площа and square for майдан).

  • А чому «However»? Твердження Антоненка-Давидовича (якщо припустити, що воно правильне) же не забирає в слова «майдан» можливості застосування до сільских майданів, а, навпаки, ще більше розширює сферу його вжитку. Я б сказав, «additionally» (або навіть «and even more — …»), але не редагую, бо міг не до кінця зрозуміти хід Ваших думок.
    – Sasha
    Oct 9, 2017 at 19:04
  • However відноситься до попереднього абзацу ("на відміну від урбаністичного відчуття, описаного у попередньому абзаці - це не так").
    – Artemix
    Oct 10, 2017 at 5:00

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