Definition of kaiser in US English:



  • 1historical The German Emperor, the Emperor of Austria, or the head of the Holy Roman Empire.

    as title ‘Kaiser Wilhelm’
    • ‘The crowned heads of Europe - kings, emperors, tsars, and kaisers - still entertained each other at regattas, manœuvres, weddings, and funerals.’
    • ‘Virtually all present were on the kaiser's team, while two first lieutenants played on the side of the armies of France, Britain, Belgium, and Holland.’
    • ‘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 1871 the Prussian king, Wilhelm I, was proclaimed kaiser of the new German empire.’
    • ‘He opposes parliamentary government, control of taxation by the House of Deputies, and responsibility of ministers to the parliaments, rather than the king and kaiser.’
    • ‘He was given just two weeks to wind up his affairs in Washington, and on 5 January 1903 the kaiser canceled his credentials.’
    • ‘Yet, at the end, he did facilitate acceptance of the kaiser's abdication, the establishment of the Weimar Republic, and the armistice, and he remained a hero.’
    • ‘Roosevelt the Germanist admired the kaiser's finer Teutonic qualities, as indeed he did those of Bismarck and Helmuth von Moltke.’
    • ‘At various times, Roosevelt had the Russian czar, the German kaiser, and the hypersensitive Japanese eating out of his hand, however reluctantly.’
    • ‘In Brazil, where Germany made one of its strongest thrusts into Latin America, German immigrants professed greater loyalty to the Brazilian state than to the kaiser.’
    ruler, sovereign, king, monarch, potentate, lord, overlord
    View synonyms
  • 2North American A round, soft bread roll with a crisp crust, made by folding the corners of a square of dough into the center, resulting in a pinwheel shape when baked.

    • ‘It's a simple kind of day: I'm sitting in the Patrician Grill, eating the simplest of sandwiches - peameal on a kaiser, just the way the god of pork intended it.’
    • ‘She pulled her kaiser apart even more and nibbled at the pieces.’
    • ‘It's a red-wine-marinated grilled mushroom cap blanketed in a slab of fresh, chewy melted mozzarella, topped with lightly caramelized, still crunchy grilled red onions and a lightly grilled tomato on a basic kaiser.’
    • ‘A thick half-pound, grilled to a perfect medium, it oozes juice, staining the semi-fresh kaiser until it's ketchup red.’
    • ‘There are workers ordering egg and cheese sandwiches on kaisers from nearby Vilotti & Pisanelli Bakery, retired guys from the neighborhood having Ellis coffee and toast and sharing a carton of half-and-half.’


  • the Kaiser's War

    • dated World War I.


Middle English cayser, from Old Norse keisari, based on Latin Caesar (see Caesar), and later reinforced by Middle Dutch keiser. The modern English form (early 19th century) derives from German Kaiser.