ukase

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Russian указ (ukáz, edict, decree), from Old East Slavic указъ (ukáz, edict), from указать (ukazat’, to show, decree), from Old Church Slavonic указати (ukazati, to show, decree), itself formed from the intensifying prefix у- (u-) (denoting a concrete purpose) + казати (kazati, to show, order). Compare Dutch oekaze, German Ukas, etc.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ukase (plural ukases)

  1. An authoritative proclamation; an edict, especially decreed by a Russian czar or (later) emperor.
    • 1805, The Times, 6 May 1805, page 3, col. C:
      An Ukase, it appears, has been issued by the Emperor Alexander, to facilitate the introduction of calimancoes and other Norwich goods into his Empire.
    • 1988, James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, Oxford 2004, p. 704:
      The planters, he explained in a letter to Lincoln, would accept emancipation by ukase in preference to being compelled to enact it themselves in a new constitution.
  2. (figuratively) Any absolutist order and/or arrogant proclamation
    • 1965, John Fowles, The Magus:
      I knew a stunned plunge of disappointment and a bitter anger. What right had he to issue such an arbitrary ukase?
    • 2008, Stephen Burt, "Kick Over the Scenery", London Review of Books, July 2008:
      It is a short step from discovering that the world we know is a fake or a cheat to discovering that human beings are themselves factitious: that we are robots, ‘simulacra’ (the title of one of Dick’s novels), ‘just reflex machines’, ‘repeating doomed patterns, a single pattern, over and over’ in accordance with biological or economic ukases.

Translations[edit]

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French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Russian указ (ukáz, edict, decree), from Old East Slavic указъ (ukáz, edict), from указать (ukazat’, to show, decree), from Old Church Slavonic указати (ukazati, to show, decree), itself formed from the intensifying prefix у- (u-) (denoting a concrete purpose) + казати (kazati, to show, order). Compare Dutch oekaze, German Ukas, etc.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ukase m (plural ukases)

  1. An ukase, decree from a Russian absolutist ruler.
  2. (figuratively) Any absolute or arrogant order

See also[edit]