Pronunciation: (zemst'vō; Russ. zyem'stvu), [key]
—pl. zem•stvosPronunciation: (zemst'vōz). [key] Russ. Hist.
one of a system of elected local assemblies established in 1864 by Alexander II to replace the authority of the nobles in administering local affairs after the abolition of serfdom: became the core of the liberal movement from 1905 to 1917.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.