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 (zĕmst′vō, zyĕm′stvə)
n. pl. zemst·vos
An elective council responsible for the local administration of a provincial district in czarist Russia.

[Russian, from Old Russian zemĭ, land; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈzɛmstvəʊ; Russian ˈzjɛmstvə)
n, pl -stvos
(Historical Terms) (in tsarist Russia) an elective provincial or district council established in most provinces of Russia by Alexander II in 1864 as part of his reform policy
[C19: from Russian, from zemlya land; related to Latin humus earth, Greek khamai on the ground]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈzɛmst voʊ)

n., pl. -stvos.
one of a system of elected local assemblies in Russia from 1864 to 1917.
[1860–65; < Russian zémstvo, derivative of zemlyá land, earth; see humus]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Many young women felt obligated to practice medicine at rural zemstva (local district council) outposts, and they fit into the stereotype of the babka, a local village Russian woman healer, so villagers accepted them (Tuve, 1979).
In addition, some primary schools were founded by the zemstva, the local bodies of government that were created in the 1860s.
(74) The former apparently lamented that Stolypin's contradictory orders were driving him to distraction, while the latter allegedly claimed that he and his colleagues had rejoiced when Stolypin's cherished project to establish zemstva (institutions of local self-government instituted in 1864 during the Great Reform era) in nine western provinces was rejected by the State Council in March 1911 (Stolypin then persuaded Nicholas II to override their veto with an executive order).