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

Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped corporations and governments from continuing to plow forward in deploying AI in the real world. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly," 12 Dec. 2018 This involves private investment from us and our partner, Aerojet Rocketdyne, as well as a government co-investment. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Getting Vulcan up to speed: Part one of our interview with Tory Bruno," 11 Dec. 2018 George was taking copious notes, as the heads of government spoke. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Read Brian Mulroney's Moving Eulogy at George H.W. Bush's Funeral," 5 Dec. 2018 Whenever a satellite is launched, government uses radar to track whatever goes into space. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Space Junk Could Provide a Perfect Hiding Spot for Tiny Spy Satellites," 30 Nov. 2018 In 1975, Lao’s king was forced to abdicate, and a new Communist government installed. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Luang Prabang Is the Ideal Southeast Asian City," 20 Nov. 2018 It was once dominated by government and service economy offices, and people tended to leave in the evenings. Shayndi Raice, WSJ, "Second-Tier Cities Boast First-Rate Job Figures," 24 Nov. 2018 The report is the work of more than 300 government and independent scientists. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Report finds that climate change could cause ‘substantial damages’ to US," 23 Nov. 2018 Now, there’s a concerted effort by the Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center in Wellington, Colorado, run by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and supported by the government and some private partners, to reintroduce the species to the wild. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "How to save a species (if you really want to)," 21 Nov. 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

15 Dec 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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