- Having a false or deceptive appearance, especially one presented for the purpose of propaganda: it is a Potemkin party; there is little behind the impressive parliamentary group seen on televisionMore example sentences
- Now, there's a 21st century twist on the Potemkin village: Potemkin refugee camps!
- Although I thought of Potemkin villages and Soviet demands for conformity, 1 believe that I heard statements of genuine belief.
- Pervading everything is an atmosphere of laziness and Potemkin villages.
1930s: from Grigori Aleksandrovich Potyomkin (often transliterated Potemkin), a favourite of Empress Catherine II of Russia, who reputedly gave the order for sham villages to be built for the empress's tour of the Crimea in 1787.