or tsar, tzar

[ zahr, tsahr ]
See synonyms for czar on
  1. an emperor or king.

  2. (often initial capital letter) the former emperor of Russia.

  1. an autocratic ruler or leader.

  2. any person exercising great authority or power in a particular field: a czar of industry.

Origin of czar

First recorded in 1545–55; from Russian tsar', Old Russian tsĭsarĭ “emperor, king” (akin to Old Church Slavonic tsěsarĭ ), from Gothic kaisar “emperor” (from Greek or Latin ); Greek kaîsar, from Latin Caesar; see Caesar

Words Nearby czar Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use czar in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for czar


/ (zɑː) /

  1. a variant spelling (esp US) of tsar

Derived forms of czar

  • czardom, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for czar


[ (zahr, tsahr) ]

The title of rulers or emperors of Russia from the sixteenth century until the Russian Revolution. The czars ruled as absolute monarchs (see absolute monarchy) until the early twentieth century, when a parliament was established in Russia. Czar can also be spelled tsar.

Notes for czar

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

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.