Definition of tsar in English:


(also tzar, czar)

Pronunciation: /zɑː//tsɑː/


  • 1An emperor of Russia before 1917:

    [as title] ‘Tsar Nicholas II’
    • ‘The idea of absolute state sovereignty is relatively new, and it derives from agreements among kings, emperors, kaisers, and czars for their mutual benefit.’
    • ‘In the Russian empire of the tsars there had been no national republics, just non-ethnic provinces.’
    • ‘In 1832, Baron Schilling, a Russian diplomat, linked the Summer Palace of the tsar in St Petersburg to the Winter Palace using a telegraph with rotating magnetized needles.’
    • ‘Under Peter the Great, the Romanov tsar who ruled from 1682 to 1725, Russia began a period of imperial expansion that continued into the Soviet period.’
    • ‘The other superpowers had been shocked when the czar of Russia extended an invitation to the king of Spain.’
    • ‘Europe's Slavonic eastern frontier zone was covered by the kingdom of Poland-Lithuania, and the realms of the tsar of Russia.’
    • ‘They are supposed to take pride in their country, delight in Russia's tsars, armies and brave field commanders, and revel in the nation's scientific discoveries and success stories.’
    • ‘When Washington was elected President of the United States in 1789, the Holy Roman Empire still existed, France had a king, Russia had a tsar, China had an emperor and Japan had a shogun - none of which exist today.’
    • ‘The grand dukes became the tsars of Muscovy, who in turn became emperors of the Russian Empire.’
    • ‘The epic sweep of history is effectively captured in the many fluid crowd scenes, while the private tragedy of the guilt-ridden czar Boris, his family, and his enemies is brought sharply into focus.’
    • ‘The crowned heads of Europe - kings, emperors, tsars, and kaisers - still entertained each other at regattas, manœuvres, weddings, and funerals.’
    • ‘For the tsar, Russia was not the invulnerable bastion of autocracy and the invincible victor over Napoleon that she seemed to foreigners.’
    • ‘Whenever political theorists looked for a contemporary example of such a government, their eyes fell upon either the Ottoman sultans or the Russian tsars and tsarinas.’
    • ‘The Jews must be utterly loyal to the tsar or emperor, and be willing to die for him, yet they also must respect the judiciary as an intermediary between individuals.’
    • ‘When he abdicated in 1917, Nicholas II, tsar of Russia, rather hoped he might have been allowed to live out the rest of his days in peace with his family in the Crimea.’
    • ‘At midnight we boarded a train to Saint Petersburg, once home of the czars and Russia's most European city.’
    • ‘For 51 days, the Soviet of Workers' Deputies in the then Russian capital St Petersburg had been an alternative power to the tsar, Russia's absolute monarch.’
    • ‘The last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his czarina, Alexandra, led a contented family life with four daughters and a son.’
    • ‘In 1887, Lenin's elder brother - Alexander - was arrested for plotting to kill the tsar of Russia.’
    • ‘By the end of the day the members of the Provisional Government were under arrest, the tsar and his family were also under house arrest.’
    ruler, sovereign, king, monarch, potentate, lord, overlord
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A South Slav ruler in former times, especially one reigning over Serbia in the 14th century:
      [as title] ‘the great martyr and prince of Serbia, Tsar Lazar’
      • ‘In the reign of the Bulgarian tsar Boris I, those territories were incorporated into several komitati (units of local authority).’
      • ‘Historical artefacts preserved from that period show the might of the Bulgarian tsar dynasties and the influence of the Bulgarian Patriarch.’
      • ‘After the sixteenth century, the tsar's court, the gentry, and wealthy merchants supported metalworking, jewelry, textile, and porcelain workshops.’
      • ‘In the 16th century the Bulgarian tsar Ivan Alexander who won a battle against the Byzantine army and made Perperikon a regional centre by appointing a governor.’
  • 2[usually with adjective or noun modifier] A person appointed by government to advise on and coordinate policy in a particular area:

    ‘the former British drugs czar’
    • ‘Later today, the White House car czar Edward Montgomery testifies on Capitol Hill.’
    • ‘Kerry declared that he will accept whole hog the 9/11 Commission's recent recommendations, including establishing a centralised intelligence czar.’
    • ‘And former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle also pulled out of the running for health and human services secretary, as well as health czar.’
    • ‘After his stint as drug czar, Bennett moved on to become a for-profit defender of morals.’
    • ‘Indeed, the government now desires a new regulatory agency under a sort of "czar for access."’
    • ‘On Capitol Hill today, three former CIA directors voiced their concerns about the possible creation of a national intelligence czar.’
    • ‘The effort would be overseen by a powerful crisis manager modeled on Bernard Baruch, Woodrow Wilson's domestic war czar.’
    • ‘It said an identity fraud tsar would create a single point of contact across government, police and the private sector.’
    • ‘The public also can seem a bit dismissive of tsars.’
    • ‘President Bush has nominated John Walters, to be our nation's next drug czar.’
    • ‘Barry McCaffrey is now the Clinton administration's drug czar.’
    • ‘We've heard about a lot of different czars climate czar, drug czar, now a border czar.’
    • ‘Having had command of tanks and jet fighters isn't impor tant in a drug czar; having command of common sense is.’
    • ‘I want to start with what Vice President Biden had to say yesterday during the nomination of the new drug czar.’
    • ‘The tsar will also be responsible for helping firms and organisations that want to bring in their own rules against smoking.’
    • ‘I don't even understand this "war czar" thing.’
    • ‘He suggested that jobs moving to foreign shores was his primary reason for creating the new manufacturing czar.’
    • ‘Barry M. McCaffrey, a retired Army general and former drug czar, took direct aim at Rumsfeld.’
    • ‘I think what Jack just said about our schools failing, we need an education czar.’
    • ‘A key recommendation of the report is that the US to create an " intelligence tsar ".’


From Russian tsarʹ, representing Latin Caesar.