Powiat is the Polish name for county, a second-level unit of the administrative division and local government in Poland. It is smaller than voivodship (województwo), but bigger than commune (gmina). Usually it consist of 5 to 15 communes. The name powiat is usually translated into English as county or district.
The history of powiats back into 14th century. They were dissolved in 1975, but finally they were brought again into being in 1999. At present there is 308 so called land counties (powiat ziemski) and 65 city counties (powiat grodzki).