(before the revolution) any governmental council.
(after the revolution) a local council, originally elected only by manual workers, with certain powers of local administration.
(after the revolution) a higher council elected by a local council, being part of a hierarchy of soviets culminating in the Supreme Soviet.

any similar council or assembly connected with a socialistic governmental system elsewhere.
(initial capital letter). Often, Soviets. a governing official or person living in the Soviet Union:
The Soviets have denied our charge.
of or relating to a soviet.
(initial capital letter) of the Soviet Union:
a Soviet statesman.
Contemporary Examples

The latest slip: appearing on a radio show, she said that Americans are worried about “the rise of the soviet Union.”
Best Political Gaffes of the Week David A. Graham August 19, 2011

The gradual tightening of the soviet noose plays out in public and private ways.
Best Films From Books Jane Ciabattari May 23, 2011

This teacher says that the wretched soviet regime will vanish and life will return to normal.
Inside ‘Maidan’: Sergei Loznitsa on His Ukrainian Uprising Doc and Putin’s ‘Fascist’ Regime Richard Porton May 23, 2014

Wallner brings the 1970s soviet Union to life in this suspenseful tale of love and espionage during the Cold War.
This Week’s Hot Reads The Daily Beast April 27, 2011

If he had his way, American would look like the old soviet Union.
The Liberals’ Tea Party Michelle Goldberg August 14, 2011

Historical Examples

Did she ever tell you why she didn’t want to return to the soviet Union?
Warren Commission (2 of 26): Hearings Vol. II (of 15) The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

And this we are trying to do in negotiations with the soviet Union.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

I was surprised when I read in the papers overseas that he had gone to the soviet Union.
Warren Commission (11 of 26): Hearings Vol. XI (of 15) The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

In passing, it is of interest to note that only once did soviet Russia agree to toss.
The Golden Judge Nathaniel Gordon

Did you at any time get any evidence to indicate that she was in touch with any soviet officials at all, the consul general?
Warren Commission (2 of 26): Hearings Vol. II (of 15) The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

(in the former Soviet Union) an elected government council at the local, regional, and national levels, which culminated in the Supreme Soviet
(in prerevolutionary Russia) a local revolutionary council
of or relating to a soviet
of, characteristic of, or relating to the former Soviet Union, its people, or its government

1917, from Russian sovet “governing council,” literally “council,” from Old Russian suvetu “assembly,” from su “with” (from *su(n)- “with, together,” from PIE *ksun- “with”) + vetu “counsel.” The whole is a loan-translation of Greek symboulion “council of advisers.” As an adjective from 1918.


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