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

Some view the company as hypocritical for burdening taxpayers with the lion’s share of the cleanup bill, given the family’s reputation as fiscal conservatives and critical of government spending. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Cleanups at Pence family's failed gas stations costing taxpayers millions: report," 14 July 2018 On Saturday, Trump supporters planned to march from the United States Embassy in London to Whitehall, where government offices are concentrated. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "London’s ‘Trump Baby’ Balloon Flies as Protests Take Off Across U.K.," 13 July 2018 MADISON - Conservative and government transparency advocates asked Wisconsin appeals court judges to reject a state lawmaker's argument that he is not required to provide records in an electronic format. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Groups ask judges to tell Wisconsin lawmaker to provide electronic copies of public records," 13 July 2018 Last autumn government employees across the country were ordered to watch a six-part television series about China’s emergence as a world power. The Economist, "In its trade war with America, China dials down the hype," 12 July 2018 Walker had cut the checks nearly in half to pay for government services. Kelsey Brugger, Scientific American, "Alaska Wants to Fight Warming While Still Drilling for Oil," 12 July 2018 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

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

20 Oct 2018

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, -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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