Michael (czar of Russia)

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czar / zär; (t)sär/ (also tsar or tzar) • n. 1. variant spelling of tsar. 2. a person with great authority or power in a particular area: America's new drug czar. DERIVATIVES: czar·dom / -dəm/ n. czar·ism / -ˌizəm/ n. czar·ist / -ist/ n. & adj.

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Michael (Michael Romanov), 1596–1645, czar of Russia (1613–45), founder of the Romanov dynasty; grandnephew of Anastasia, first wife of Ivan IV. His election as czar, following successive appearances of false pretenders (see Dmitri), ended the so-called Time of Troubles, a period of social and political chaos in Russia that had begun in the late 16th cent. The real power in the government was Michael's father, the patriarch Philaret (d. 1633). During Michael's reign the peasantry was further reduced to serfdom; peace was temporarily obtained with Poland and Sweden; and some Western industrial and military techniques were introduced by foreign manufacturers and other experts. Michael was succeeded by his son Alexis.

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czar, tzar, tsar emperor of Russia. XVI. Russ. tsar', ult. repr. L. Caesar through the medium of Gmc., in which the word meant ‘emperor’ (cf. MLG. ke(y)ser, OHG. keisar, ON. keisari, Goth. kaisar).