com·​mis·​sar·​i·​at ˌkä-mə-ˈser-ē-ət How to pronounce commissariat (audio)
 especially for sense 3  -ˈsär-
: a system for supplying an army with food
: food supplies
[borrowed from Russian komissariat, borrowed from German Kommissariat, borrowed from Medieval Latin commissāriātus] : a government department in the Soviet Union until 1946
: a board of commissioners

Examples of commissariat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Belief trumps evidence, and like the old Soviet commissariat state the assumption becomes that the right belief system will always provide the right answer. Brynn Tannehill, The New Republic, 24 Feb. 2023 Then, the local commissariat sent a notice to his office. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2022 In the city of Togliatti, a military commissariat, or local military recruitment and draft office, was set on fire, one of dozens of similar attacks across Russia in recent months, indicating the depth of antipathy to military recruitment efforts. David L. Stern, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 The alleged shooter in the attack on the recruitment chief, at a military commissariat in Ust-Ilimsk, a small town in Irkutsk, apparently was distraught that his close friend had been called for duty despite having no prior military service. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2022 In Murmansk in Russia’s Arctic north, an employee of Nornickel, a nickel plant, who fought in the Chechen war over a decade ago received a notice ordering him to show up at a local military commissariat. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2022 Nizovtsev, posing as a military official, demanded that the younger Peskov appear at a local military commissariat the following day at 10 a.m. David L. Stern, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 To his left, a man from the military commissariat began to speak with the air of routine. Keith Gessen, The New Yorker, 18 Aug. 2022 Stripped of its bureaucratic language and moral statement, this is a proposal for an enormously powerful, unelected commissariat to exercise dictatorial control over American politics. Grayson Quay, The Week, 13 Feb. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commissariat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Medieval Latin commissāriātus "office of a commissary," from commissārius commissary + Latin -ātus -ate entry 2

First Known Use

1710, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of commissariat was in 1710

Dictionary Entries Near commissariat

Cite this Entry

“Commissariat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​mis·​sar·​i·​at ˌkäm-ə-ˈser-ē-ət How to pronounce commissariat (audio)
: a system for supplying an army with food
: a government department headed by a commissar

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