presidia

presidium

[pri-sid-ee-uhm]
noun, plural presidiums, presidia [pri-sid-ee-uh] . (often initial capital letter)
(in the Soviet Union and other Communist countries) an administrative committee, usually permanent and governmental, acting when its parent body is in recess but exercising full powers: the presidium of the Supreme Soviet.

Origin:
1815–25; < Latin prae-sidium, derivative of praes(es) (stem praesid-) guardian, governor, literally, one sitting before. See preside, -ium

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World English Dictionary
presidium or praesidium (prɪˈsɪdɪəm)
 
n , pl -iums, -ia
1.  (often capital) (in Communist countries) a permanent committee of a larger body, such as a legislature, that acts for it when it is in recess
2.  a collective presidency, esp of a nongovernmental organization
 
[C20: from Russian prezidium, from Latin praesidium, from praesidēre to superintend; see preside]
 
praesidium or praesidium (prɪˈsɪdɪəm, -ɪə)
 
n
 
[C20: from Russian prezidium, from Latin praesidium, from praesidēre to superintend; see preside]

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Word Origin & History

presidium
permanent administrative committee of the U.S.S.R., 1924, from Rus. prezidium, from L. præsidium "a presiding over, defense," from præsidere (see preside).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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