Definition of ukase
1 : a proclamation by a Russian emperor or government having the force of law
2 : edict
ukase was our Word of the Day on 11/11/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of ukase in a Sentence
she brazenly ignored the company's ukase about entering by the back door
ukase Has Russian Roots
English speakers adopted ukase more or less simultaneously from French (ukase) and Russian (ukaz) in the early 18th century. The word can be traced further back to the Russian verb ukazat', meaning "to show" or "to order," and its ultimate source is an ancient root that led to similar words in Latin, Sanskrit, and Old Church Slavic. A Russian ukase was a command from the highest levels of government that could not be disobeyed. But by the early 19th century, English speakers were also using ukase generally for any command that seemed to come from a higher authority, particularly one that was final or arbitrary.
Origin and Etymology of ukase
French & Russian; French, from Russian ukaz, from ukazat' to show, order; akin to Old Church Slavonic u- away, Latin au-, Sanskrit ava- and to Old Church Slavonic kazati to show
First Known Use: 1729See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
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