- /zar/(t)sar/(czar, also written zar, tsar, tzar, etc.)The title of the former emperors of Russia, derived from the old Slavonic cesar, king or emperor, which, although long held to be derived from the Roman title Caesar, is almost certainly of Tartar origin. The Slavonic word ultimately represents the Latin Caesar, but came through the medium of a Germanic language in which the word had the general sense "emperor." In the beginning of the 10th century the Bulgarian prince Symeon assumed this title, which remained attached to the Bulgarian crown. In 1346 it was adopted by Stephen Duschan, king of Serbia. Among the Russians the Byzantine emperors were so called, as were also the khans of the Mongols that ruled in Russia. Ivan III, grand prince of Moscow, held the title, and Ivan IV, the Terrible, in 1547, caused himself to be crowned as czar. In 1721 the Senate and clergy conferred on Peter I, in the name of the nation, the title Emperor of Russia, for which in Russia the Latin word imperator is used. Peter the Great introduced the title imperator, "emperor," and the official style then became "Emperor of all the Russias, Tsar of Poland, and Grand Duke of Finland"; but the Russian popular appellation continued to be tear (the preferable modern spelling). The last tsar was Nicholas II, who abdicated on March 15, 1917, and was later executed+ tsarThe less common spelling of "czar" (q.v.)See also tzarina
Black's law dictionary. HENRY CAMPBELL BLACK, M. A.. 1990.