com·​mis·​sar | \ ˈkä-mə-ˌsär How to pronounce commissar (audio) \

Definition of commissar

1a : a Communist party official assigned to a military unit to teach party principles and policies and to ensure party loyalty
b : 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

Examples of commissar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Grossman could embrace any number of contradictions: loyal Soviet citizen and dissident, kulak and commissar, Stalin worshipper and Stalin hater, in-group and out. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 The trouble is that the California Senator goes on to propose that political commissars oversee salary decisions for roughly 80 million American workers. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The ‘Wage Gap’ Commissars," 27 May 2019 The book opens in 1957 with Gunther, the onetime commissar of Berlin's Murder Squad, living under an alias in Munich as a morgue attendant. Lloyd Sachs,, "Crime fiction reviews: Latest from Philip Kerr, Jo Nesbo and Michael Kardos," 17 Apr. 2018 Zanu-PF’s national political commissar menacingly told a rural gathering that people should remember 2008, when thousands of MDC activists in the countryside were set upon by Zanu-PF militias and hundreds were murdered. The Economist, "The crocodile swims in murky watersZimbabwe’s new president says he is a democrat. Is he?," 1 Mar. 2018 Education Minister Prof Jonathan Moyo & Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere also said to have been taken in.#Zimbabwe— The African Voice (@teddyeugene) 15 novembre 2017 What has Robert Mugabe said? Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle, "Army recruiter accused of sending nude Snapchat pic to 16-year-old Deer Park student," 24 Feb. 2018 But his open, public embrace is a real scandal for the ideological commissars of the right. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Nostalgic for the Swamp’s Favorite Fuel, Earmarks," 10 Jan. 2018 Trump has now nominated 50 would-be judges to openings on Circuit Courts of Appeal and district benches, all of whom appear to have been vetted by conservative legal commissars like the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "GOP May Break Democrats’ Best Weapon Against Wave of Right-Wing Judges," 13 Sep. 2017 In April, 1938, the director of the Kuznetsk steel plant, Konstantin Butenko, moved into Apartment 141, which had become vacant after the arrest of its previous tenant, a deputy commissar from the Health Ministry. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "The House Where Revolution Went to Die," 13 Oct. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of commissar

1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for commissar

borrowed from Russian komissar, borrowed from German Kommissar, earlier Commissar "person delegated to perform an office, commissioner" borrowed from Medieval Latin commissārius commissary

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Statistics for commissar

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for commissar

The first known use of commissar was in 1921

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with commissar

Britannica English: Translation of commissar for Arabic Speakers

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