Other forms: czars

Czar is a Russian word for ruler or emperor. Those kinds of czars are long gone, but we still use the word to describe people in charge of something important.

Up until the early 20th century, the ruler in Russia was a man called a czar who had total power, like an emperor or dictator. In English, czar has hung around as a word for anyone in charge of anything. If you run a book club, you might jokingly call yourself a book czar. In the U.S. government, people in charge of large departments are often called czars — like the housing czar or labor czar.

Definitions of czar
  1. noun
    a male monarch or emperor (especially of Russia prior to 1917)
    synonyms: tsar, tzar
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    Aleksandr Pavlovich
    the czar of Russia whose plans to liberalize the government of Russia were unrealized because of the wars with Napoleon (1777-1825)
    Alexander the Liberator
    the son of Nicholas I who, as czar of Russia, introduced reforms that included limited emancipation of the serfs (1818-1881)
    Czar Alexander III
    son of Alexander II who was czar of Russia (1845-1894)
    Boris Fyodorovich Godunov
    czar of Russia (1551-1605)
    Ivan Iv Vasilievich
    the first czar of Russia (1530-1584)
    Czar Nicholas I
    czar of Russia from 1825 to 1855 who led Russia into the Crimean War (1796-1855)
    Nicholas II
    the last czar of Russia who was forced to abdicate in 1917 by the Russian Revolution; he and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks (1868-1918)
    Peter the Great
    czar of Russia who introduced ideas from western Europe to reform the government; he extended his territories in the Baltic and founded St. Petersburg (1682-1725)
    type of:
    crowned head, monarch, sovereign
    a nation's ruler or head of state usually by hereditary right
  2. noun
    a person having great power
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    type of:
    autocrat, despot, tyrant
    a cruel and oppressive dictator
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