Definition of panchayat in US English:

panchayat

noun

Indian
  • A village council.

    • ‘The village panchayats, he feels, should involve the community in the maintenance of water sources.’
    • ‘Decisions are being taken at State capitals on behalf of the village panchayats without consulting them - in fact concealing information from them.’
    • ‘In most villages, the panchayats or village councils and the powerful fishing societies are dominated by men.’
    • ‘The panchayats of both villages should start developmental works after chalking out a proper plan within a month, he added.’
    • ‘This means that overall control of a large distributed system must grow out of smaller, simpler, local authority: village panchayats, for example.’

Origin

From Hindi (originally denoting a council consisting of five members), from Sanskrit panca ‘five’ + āyatta ‘depending upon’.

Pronunciation

panchayat

/pənˈCHīət/