Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A department of an army in charge of providing food and other supplies for the troops.
  • n. A food supply.
  • n. A major government department in the Soviet Union until 1946.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A supply of food.
  • n. The department of an army that supplies provisions for the troops.
  • n. A department of the government of the Soviet Union in the early period of its existence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The organized system by which armies and military posts are supplied with food and daily necessaries.
  • n. The body of officers charged with such service.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That department of an army the duties of which consist in supplying transport, provisions, forage, camp equipage, etc., to the troops; also, the body of officers in that department.
  • n. The office or employment of a commissary.
  • n. In Scots law, the jurisdiction of a commissary; the district of country over which the authority or jurisdiction of a commissary extends. See extract.
  • Pertaining to or concerned in furnishing supplies: as, the commissariat department; commissariat arrangements.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a stock or supply of foods

Etymologies

French, from Medieval Latin commissārius, agent; see commissary. Sense 3, from Russian komissariat, from French commissariat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • 'When I know precisely what is meant by commissariat'

    -- The Major-General's Song in the Pirates of Penzance

    August 20, 2008