Definition of commissar
1a : a Communist party official assigned to a military unit to teach party principles and policies and to ensure party loyaltyb : one that attempts to control public opinion or its expression
2 : the head of a government department in the U.S.S.R. until 1946
Recent Examples of commissar from the Web
In the olden days, the authorities probably would have installed a commissar or an uniformed official of some kind to combat this problem, but nobody fights a pirate insurgency with boots on the ground any more.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commissar'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of commissar
Russian komissar, from German Kommissar, from Medieval Latin commissarius
First Known Use: 1921
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