Definition of zemstvo in English:

zemstvo

Pronunciation /ˈzemstvō/ /ˈzɛmstvoʊ/

nounzemstvos

  • One of a system of elected councils established in tsarist Russia to administer local affairs after the abolition of serfdom.

    ‘Elected by the local zemstvo, the justice of the peace dealt with small cases where the parties desired a quick, comprehensible, inexpensive, and on-the-spot decision.’
    • ‘Under a further Statute of 1 January 1864, zemstvos or local government assemblies were elected at district and province level, essentially by the landed gentry.’

Origin

Russian, from zemlya ‘land’.