gov·​er·​nance | \ ˈgə-vər-nən(t)s How to pronounce governance (audio) \
plural governances

Definition of governance

: the act or process of governing or overseeing the control and direction of something (such as a country or an organization) : government a centralized system of governance the challenges of national governance … the governance of amateur sport in America …— P. S. Wood … three years before he died, [Lionel] Trilling pressed the point that the way a nation thinks determines in the end the quality of its governance.— Benjamin DeMott Enron, and the corporate disasters that followed, forced many companies to get serious about governance.— Louis Lavelle Theirs was the perennial problem of quick-witted subjects under the governance of dull-witted administrators.— Declan Kiberd Michael Dukakis, at the 1988 Democratic convention, said governance was about competence, not ideology. He got it half right: Competence is important to governance, but ideology is critical …U.S. News & World Report

Examples of governance in a Sentence

They have very different approaches to the governance of the city. after World War II, the four Allied nations shared the governance of the territory of postwar Germany under the Allied Control Council
Recent Examples on the Web Over the years, participants in the civic science movement have created resources and manuals to promote good data governance and limit harassment of the people taking part in these efforts. Lucy Bernholz, The Conversation, 4 Jan. 2022 There are several reasons governance is important in low-code. Deb Gildersleeve, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Some of the emails were obtained and reviewed by the First Amendment Coalition, a nonprofit focused on good governance, and shared with The Times. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 15 Dec. 2021 President Joe Biden's democracy summit opened with lofty rhetoric and panel discussions about protecting human rights, bolstering good governance and countering authoritarianism. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 11 Dec. 2021 Good governance is critical to achieving the mission of any institution, whether in the private or public sector. Darcel Rockett,, 8 Dec. 2021 The program, according to USAID, aims to address the root causes of migration through increasing employment opportunities and promoting good governance. Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2021 In the long history of Rome, the link between flowing water and good governance has always meant that, even in a modern drought, the city's mayors turn off the nasoni—Rome's ubiquitous public drinking fountains—at their peril. Nicholas De Monchaux, Wired, 1 Dec. 2021 The business world needs to move quickly to ensure trust and good governance by creating clear standards and universal practices for ESG reporting. Fortune, 22 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'governance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of governance

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for governance

see govern

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The first known use of governance was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Governance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of governance

: the way that a city, company, etc., is controlled by the people who run it

More from Merriam-Webster on governance

Nglish: Translation of governance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of governance for Arabic Speakers


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