government

noun, often attributive
gov·​ern·​ment | \ ˈgə-vər(n)-mənt How to pronounce government (audio) , -və-mənt; ˈgə-bᵊm-ənt, -vᵊm- \

Definition of government

1 : the body of persons that constitutes the governing authority of a political unit or organization: such as
a : the officials comprising the governing body of a political unit and constituting the organization as an active agency The government was slow to react to the crisis.
b capitalized : the executive branch of the U.S. federal government
c capitalized : a small group of persons holding simultaneously the principal political executive offices of a nation or other political unit and being responsible for the direction and supervision of public affairs:
(2) : such a group in a parliamentary system constituted by the cabinet or by the ministry
2a : the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it She works for the federal government.
b : the complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out
3 : the act or process of governing specifically : authoritative direction or control
4 : the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit : rule
5 : political science studied economics and government
6a : the office, authority, or function of governing
b obsolete : the term during which a governing official holds office
7 obsolete : moral conduct or behavior : discretion

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Other Words from government

governmental \ ˌgə-​vər(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce government (audio) \ adjective
governmentalize \ ˌgə-​vər(n)-​ˈmen-​tə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce government (audio) \ transitive verb
governmentally \ ˌgə-​vər(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce government (audio) \ adverb

Examples of government in a Sentence

The government has been slow to react to the crisis. She works for the federal government. We need to improve relations with foreign governments. He is a firm believer in democratic government. We learned about different methods of government. The country has been damaged by many years of weak government.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Kospi in Seoul declined 0.2% after the government reported economic output rebounded to above pre-pandemic levels after growth accelerated to 1.6% over the previous quarter in the three months ending in March. Joe Mcdonald, ajc, "Asia stocks lower after Wall St record ahead of Fed meeting," 27 Apr. 2021 From that date the government gave employees across the UK the legal right to ask for flexible working. The Editors, Curbed, "Remember the Office?," 26 Apr. 2021 The government has issued a state of emergency for four prefectures including Tokyo. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "This year's Oscars could have been a moment of pride for China. Then politics got in the way," 26 Apr. 2021 In a 10-page lawsuit filed Thursday in Ventura County Superior Court, the First Amendment Coalition asked for a court order compelling the county government to release records requested in January and March. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Josh joust, wing shortage, helping Canada: News from around our 50 states," 26 Apr. 2021 Iran’s debate has intensified in the past few weeks as the Rouhani government, the United States and other global powers meet in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal, which languished after President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord in 2018. Washington Post, "In leaked audio, Iran’s foreign minister laments interference by Revolutionary Guard," 26 Apr. 2021 The government initially described Mr. Zubaydah as a top al Qaeda official but later walked away from that claim. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Will Hear Case Over Testimony on Guantanamo Detainee," 26 Apr. 2021 Reddington noted that among the government’s star witnesses are people with their own dirty laundry who cut deals in exchange for pointing the finger at Correia. BostonGlobe.com, "Con men, crooks, coatholders, and cameras," 26 Apr. 2021 Her historic win should be a celebration for people everywhere, but according to the New York Times, the Chinese government has already imposed censors online to keep discussion of Zhao’s win to a minimum. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Chloé Zhao Made History With Her Oscars Win, But China Censored It," 26 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'government.' 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 government

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for government

see govern

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Time Traveler for government

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for government

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Government.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/government. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for government

government

noun

English Language Learners Definition of government

: the group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state, etc.
: a particular system used for controlling a country, state, etc.
: the process or manner of controlling a country, state, etc.

government

noun
gov·​ern·​ment | \ ˈgə-vərn-mənt How to pronounce government (audio) , -vər-mənt \

Kids Definition of government

1 : control and direction of public business (as of a city or a nation) The mayor makes decisions regarding the government of city departments.
2 : a system of control : an established form of political rule a democratic government
3 : the people making up a governing body Their governments are committed to peace.

Other Words from government

governmental \ ˌgə-​vərn-​ˈmen-​t-​ᵊl , -​vər-​ˈmen-​tᵊl \ adjective

government

noun
gov·​ern·​ment | \ ˈgə-vər-mənt, -vərn- How to pronounce government (audio) \

Legal Definition of government

1 : the act or process of governing specifically : authoritative direction or control
2 : the office, authority, or function of governing
3 : the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit : rule
4a : the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it
b : the complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out
5 : the body of persons that constitutes the governing authority of a political unit or organization: as
a : the officials comprising the governing body of a political unit and constituting the organization as an active agency
b capitalized : the executive branch of the U.S. federal government
c : the prosecution in a criminal case in its capacity as agents of the political unit the government failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

Other Words from government

governmental adjective
governmentally adverb

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Comments on government

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