gov·​er·​nance ˈgə-vər-nən(t)s How to pronounce governance (audio)
plural governances
: 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 The entrepreneur has staked his credibility and that of the entire board on the ratification of his record $56 billion 2018 pay package deemed invalid in January by a Delaware state judge over governance failings. Eva Roytburg, Fortune, 7 June 2024 The unwinding of shareholdings by the banks in Toyota, one of Japan’s most prestigious companies, would underscore how corporate governance reforms are increasingly taking root amid pressure from the government and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Amber Dasilva / Jalopnik, Quartz, 7 June 2024 The Onondaga Nation’s objection highlighted an enduring, visceral disagreement over governance. Francine Uenuma, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 May 2024 Proxy advisory firms are relied on by institutional investors to provide research and advice on how to vote during annual and special meetings on public companies' proxy proposals, which can range from executive compensation to corporate governance issues. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 27 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for governance 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'governance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see govern

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near governance

Cite this Entry

“Governance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


gov·​er·​nance ˈgəv-ər-nən(t)s How to pronounce governance (audio)
: the exercise of control : government

More from Merriam-Webster on governance

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