government

noun, often attributive
gov·ern·ment | \ˈgə-vər(n)-mənt, -və-mənt;ˈgə-bᵊm-ənt, -vᵊm-\

Definition of government 

1 : the act or process of governing specifically : authoritative direction or control

2 obsolete : moral conduct or behavior : discretion

3a : the office, authority, or function of governing

b obsolete : the term during which a governing official holds office

4 : the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit : rule

5a : 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

6 : 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:

(1) : such a group in a parliamentary system constituted by the cabinet or by the ministry

(2) : administration sense 4b

7 : political science studied economics and government

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Other Words from government

governmental \ˌgə-vər(n)-ˈmen-tᵊl \ adjective
governmentalize \ˌgə-vər(n)-ˈmen-tə-ˌlīz \ transitive verb
governmentally \ˌgə-vər(n)-ˈmen-tᵊl-ē \ 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

Pai has argued that free markets will do a better job of protecting customers than government regulations. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "As news ownership consolidates, will local TV become more partisan?," 13 July 2018 Beyond government regulation, Smith says Microsoft and other tech companies should take more responsibility for their use of the technology. Scott Thurm, WIRED, "Microsoft Calls For Federal Regulation of Facial Recognition," 13 July 2018 American colonists in the 18th century did indeed resent tariffs imposed by the British government on goods imported into the colonies, and their anger over taxes and tariffs incited a rebellion. WSJ, "Tariffs Helped the U.S. Economy Find Its Legs," 13 July 2018 The website was shut down by the federal government in April as a part of a law enforcement action involving the FBI and other agencies. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Lured To Newington Motel By Backpage.com Ad, Victim Robbed At Knifepoint, Police Say," 13 July 2018 Even without goading from employees, some tech company leaders, such as Ken Sutton of Yobe, are fretting about how their innovations might be used — or abused — by governments. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Tech community wrestles over working with government," 13 July 2018 Critical shortages of food, fuel and medicine would open up within two weeks, by the government’s own estimation. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Just Help Stop Brexit?," 13 July 2018 The remaining 46 children are still being held by the government. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "'Eligible' Children Under 5 Have Been Reunited With their Families, Trump Administration Says," 12 July 2018 The brigades were organized along paramilitary lines and have been frequently deployed by the government to repress the dissident Ladies in White and other opposition groups. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "He now hunts Cuban human-rights abusers in the U.S. Was he once an offender himself?," 12 July 2018

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 1

History and Etymology for government

see govern

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Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for government

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

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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, -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- \

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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