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 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
7 : political science studied economics and government

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Other Words from government

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

Major indexes have gotten a lift in recent days as data have shown the economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter, despite encountering headwinds like a partial government shutdown and slowing global growth. Donato Paolo Mancini, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Rise, Bolstered by Data," 29 Apr. 2019 Shares of drugmaker Mallinckrodt Plc fell 16% Tuesday after news reports that the federal government is intervening in a pair of lawsuits that allege its subsidiary bribed doctors to drive sales of a pricey multiple-sclerosis drug. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Government to File Complaint After Mallinckrodt Unit Is Accused of Bribery to Drive Drug Sales," 30 Apr. 2019 It’s more expensive for telecom companies to serve spread-out rural areas than cities and suburbs, so the government provides grants to encourage them to build internet networks in rural parts of the country. Tali Arbel, The Seattle Times, "FCC to hold big 5G auction, spend $20B for rural internet," 15 Apr. 2019 As wind power becomes more commonplace, governments and utilities are increasingly demanding more power, which equates to bigger turbines and turbine blades. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "GE Just Switched On Cypress, Its Experimental Next-Gen Wind Turbine," 14 Mar. 2019 The act expired in February for the first time since its passage, as House Democrats opted not to include an extension of the bill without any additions in a government funding bill. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "The NRA Wants to Stop Congress From Renewing the Violence Against Women Act," 4 Apr. 2019 How many more kids have to be taken from us as a result of suicide for the government / school district to do anything? Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Second Survivor of the Parkland Shooting Has Died By Suicide," 25 Mar. 2019 Only about $300 million was raised, nearly all of it from governments. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 2019 At Emory University, the International Studies Major thought she was bound for work in law or government. Diana Nguyen, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Woman Behind New York’s Most Glamorous Closets," 22 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for government

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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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