a. An official of the Communist Party in charge of political indoctrination and the enforcement of party loyalty.
b. The head of a commissariat in the Soviet Union until 1946.
2. A person who tries to control public opinion.
[Russian komissar, from German Kommissar, deputy, from Medieval Latin commissārius, agent; see COMMISSARY.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.