kai·​ser ˈkī-zər How to pronounce kaiser (audio)
: emperor
especially : the ruler of Germany from 1871 to 1918
kaiserdom noun
kaiserism noun

Examples of kaiser in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The bizarre tale of a kidnapping attempt, the German kaiser and a beloved ashtray Bejerot, the consulting psychiatrist, is credited with coining Stockholm syndrome that year to describe the phenomenon of captives developing emotional bonds with their captors. Donald Beaulieu, Washington Post, 23 Aug. 2023 Thereafter, Germany became the kaiser writ large, the nation’s aspirations an outgrowth of the kaiser’s insecurities. Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2022 The bakery was out of cinnamon rolls, and Jacob arrived with ordinary kaisers, which neither of them liked. Cynthia Ozick, Harper’s Magazine , 10 Apr. 2023 If a totalitarian regime forcibly occupied TSMC, in other words, its kaiser would never get its partner democracies on the phone. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, 21 Mar. 2023 Think of the kaiser and World War I, the Tojo regime leading into World War II, Kim Il Sung in Korea, the Soviets in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein against Iran and Kuwait. Michael O’Hanlon, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 And the flight of the kaiser along with the deposing of eighteen princely houses meant the termination of numerous court positions reserved for nobility. Christopher R. Browning, The New York Review of Books, 15 June 2021 Foreign opinion, high and low, held the kaiser responsible for German militarism and aggression. Isabel V. Hull, The New York Review of Books, 21 Mar. 2019 Many Americans wanted to smash the kaiser’s army and push for unconditional surrender; Wilson supported an armistice. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, 21 Dec. 2018 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Old Norse keisari; akin to Old High German keisur emperor; both from a prehistoric Germanic word borrowed from Latin Caesar, cognomen of the Emperor Augustus

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kaiser was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near kaiser

Cite this Entry

“Kaiser.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kaiser. Accessed 5 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


kai·​ser ˈkī-zər How to pronounce kaiser (audio)
: the ruler of Germany from 1871 to 1918

Middle English caisere "emperor," from Old Norse keisari, derived from a Germanic word kaisar "emperor," derived from Latin Caesar (title of a line of Roman emperors after Caesar Augustus) see Word History at emperor

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Kai·​ser ˈkī-zər How to pronounce Kaiser (audio)
Henry John 1882–1967 American industrialist
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