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

While men were off at war, women dealt with food shortages and a government who wouldn’t listen to them. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Why International Women's Day Is Celebrated on March 8," 28 Feb. 2019 It was created very specifically in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, which was a real crisis point for our government and for the country. Sean Illing, Vox, "Can the 25th Amendment be invoked to remove Trump from office? I asked one of its authors.," 14 Feb. 2019 The post office and most banks, non-essential government offices, and schools are closed for the day. Megan Stein, Country Living, "When is Presidents' Day and Why Do We Celebrate It?," 14 Feb. 2019 But for people in Japan who bought smart devices anyway, their government is going to test the security of those devices by trying to hack them. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Japan Is Going to Start Hacking Its Citizens," 29 Jan. 2019 The company’s stock languished through early October, nearly matching its low point from the spring, as investors reacted to the settlement and news of the government’s increased focus on Tesla. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Tesla," 29 Dec. 2018 Facebook has been at the center of the government’s campaign of hate and misinformation. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook removed hundreds more accounts linked to the Myanmar military for posting hate speech and attacks against ethnic minorities," 19 Dec. 2018 Federal air-safety regulators are investigating Southwest Airlines Co. for widespread miscalculation of the total weight of checked bags loaded onto each of its flights, according to government officials and internal agency documents. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "FAA Probes Southwest Airlines Over Baggage Weight Discrepancies," 18 Feb. 2019 Last month, the Australian government honored Olivia for her charitable contributions with the highest honor given to citizens. Marie Milano, Country Living, "Inside Olivia Newton-John's Heartbreaking Battle With Cancer," 16 Feb. 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

10 Mar 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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