[ kom-uh-sair-ee-uh t ]
/ ˌkɒm əˈsɛər i ət /


any of the major governmental divisions of the U.S.S.R.: called ministry since 1946.
the organized method or manner by which food, equipment, transport, etc., is delivered to armies.
the department of an army charged with supplying provisions.

Origin of commissariat

1600–10; < New Latin commissāriātus, equivalent to Medieval Latin commissāri(us) commissary + -ātus -ate3; (def 1) < Russian komissariátNew Latin, as above Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for commissariat

British Dictionary definitions for commissariat


/ (ˌkɒmɪˈsɛərɪət) /


(in the former Soviet Union) a government department before 1946Now called: ministry
  1. a military department in charge of food supplies, equipment, etc
  2. the offices of such a department
food supplies

Word Origin for commissariat

C17: from New Latin commissāriātus, from Medieval Latin commissārius commissary
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

Word Origin and History for commissariat



c.1600, in Scottish law, "commissary court," from French commissariat, from Medieval Latin *commissariatus, from commissarius (see commissary). Military use is from 1779. In reference to the USSR, "ministry," from 1918.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper