Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A male monarch or emperor, especially one of the emperors who ruled Russia until the revolution of 1917.
  • noun A person having great power or authority.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An emperor; a king; specifically, the common title of the Emperor of Russia.
  • noun An article of dress, apparently a cravat, in use in the early part of the eighteenth century: probably named in compliment to Peter the Great, who visited England in 1698.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A king; a chief; the title of the emperor of Russia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Alternative spelling of tsar.

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

  • noun a person having great power
  • noun a male monarch or emperor (especially of Russia prior to 1917)

Etymologies

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

[Russian tsar', from Old Russian tsĭsarĭ, emperor, king, from Old Church Slavonic tsěsarĭ, from Gothic kaisar, from Greek, from Latin Caesar, emperor; see caesar.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Russian царь (tsar'), from Latin Caesar.

Examples

  • The term "czar" dates back to Franklin Roosevelt's administration.

    GOP lawmaker blasts Obama for ignoring Congress on 'czars'

  • JOHN WALTERS, BUSH ADMINISTRATION DRUG CZAR: Well, with the title czar, you are asking for it.

    CNN Transcript Jun 15, 2009

  • COSTELLO: But the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato, who wrote the "Year of Obama" says the title czar is mostly to make the tough government job sound more attractive.

    CNN Transcript Jun 15, 2009

  • I mean, I-- everyone always, it seems to me, throws out the term czar when they don't know what else to do.

    CNN Transcript Dec 8, 2008

  • I mean, everyone always seems to me throws out the term czar when they don't know what else to do.

    CNN Transcript Dec 8, 2008

  • ‡ The term czar is sometimes applied generally to a powerful leader or to a government administrator with wide-ranging powers.

    czar

  • The word czar comes from the Russian tsar which in turn was derived from the Latin Caesar.

    South Dakota Politics

  • The word czar comes from the Russian tsar which in turn was derived from the Latin Caesar.

    South Dakota Politics

  • The word czar comes from the Russian tsar which in turn was derived from the Latin Caesar.

    South Dakota Politics

  • Nobody over there uses the term czar, so I can't figure out why we would either.

    billingsgazette.com

Comments

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  • From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

    "The spelling with cz- is against the usage of all Slavonic languages; the word was so spelt by Herberstein, Rerum Moscovit. Commentarii, 1549, the chief early source of knowledge as to Russia in Western Europe, whence it passed into the Western Languages generally; in some of these it is now old-fashioned; the usual Ger. form is now zar; French adopted tsar during the 19th c. This also became frequent in English towards the end of that century, having been adopted by the Times newspaper as the most suitable English spelling. OED"

    December 17, 2007

  • Also note that the American political usage of this word to mean the person who's been appointed to oversee a certain area or problem, is always spelt czar: drug czar, AIDS czar, etc.

    December 17, 2007

  • Pronounced: k-ZAR. Ugly, shoddily-made automobile from any ex-Soviet bloc country.

    April 8, 2008

  • Some less-imposing Russian rulers.

    August 26, 2008