[zemst-vohz] /ˈzɛmst voʊz/ (Show IPA). Russian History
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.
Origin of zemstvo
1860-65; < Russianzémstvo, derivative of zemlyá land, earth; see humus