AskDefine | Define Ukase

Dictionary Definition

ukase n : an edict of the Russian tsar

User Contributed Dictionary



From Russian указ (edict, decree) < Old Russian указъ (edict) < указать (to show, to decree) < Old Church Slavonic указатъ, formed from у- (denoting a concrete purpose) + казатъ (to show, to order).


  • /ju:'keɪz/


  1. an authoritative proclamation; an edict, especially from the tsarist Russian government
    • 1805: An Ukase, it appears, has been issued by the Emperor Alexander, to facilitate the introduction of calimancoes and other Norwich goods into his Empire. — The Times, 6 May 1805, p.3 col. C
    • 1965: I knew a stunned plunge of disappointment and a bitter anger. What right had he to issue such an arbitrary ukase? — John Fowles, The Magus


  • French: ukase
  • Russian: указ (ukáz)


Alternative spellings


From Russian указ, a decree from the czar.


  • y.kaz
  • y.kaz


ukase (p: ukases)
  1. ukase, law, decree, order.

Extensive Definition

Ukase (, ukaz) in Imperial Russia was a proclamation of the tsar, government, or a religious leader (patriarch) that had the force of law. Adequate translations are "edict" or "decree" of Roman law.
After the Russian Revolution, a government proclamation of wide meaning was called a "decree" (Russian: декрет, dekret); more specific proclamations were called ukaz. Both terms are usually translated as 'decree'.
According to the Russian Federation's 1993 constitution, an ukaz is a Presidential decree. Such ukazes have the power of laws, but may not alter the regulations of existing laws, and may be superseded by laws passed by the Federal Assembly.

See also

Ukase in German: Ukas
Ukase in French: Ukase
Ukase in Hebrew: אוקאז
Ukase in Italian: Ukaz
Ukase in Dutch: Oekaze
Ukase in Polish: Ukaz
Ukase in Romanian: Ukaz
Ukase in Russian: Указ
Ukase in Swedish: Ukas

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

announcement, annunciation, appointment, brevet, bull, bulletin board, circular, communique, declaration, decree, decree-law, decreement, decretal, decretum, dictum, diktat, directive, edict, edictum, encyclical, enunciation, fiat, ipse dixit, law, manifesto, notice, notification, ordinance, ordonnance, position paper, proclamation, program, programma, pronouncement, pronunciamento, public notice, report, rescript, rule, ruling, senatus consult, senatus consultum, statement, white book, white paper
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