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 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:
(2) : such a group in a parliamentary system constituted by the cabinet or by the ministry
2a : 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
3 : the act or process of governing specifically : authoritative direction or control
4 : the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit : rule
5 : political science studied economics and government
6a : the office, authority, or function of governing
b obsolete : the term during which a governing official holds office
7 obsolete : moral conduct or behavior : discretion

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Other Words from government

governmental \ ˌgə-​vər(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce government (audio) \ adjective
governmentalize \ ˌgə-​vər(n)-​ˈmen-​tə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce government (audio) \ transitive verb
governmentally \ ˌgə-​vər(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce government (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 The goal should be to empower people to take charge of their own lives, the lives of their children and not to rely on government or politicians for redemption and prosperity. Kendall Qualls, Star Tribune, "To fulfill King's dream, focus on fundamentals," 17 Jan. 2021 Without a budget, state government — and critical services including health care, airports, ferries and wildland firefighting — will run out of money and potentially shut down on July 1. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Facing huge problems, the Alaska Legislature still hasn’t decided who’s in charge," 17 Jan. 2021 The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Neelam Bohra, ExpressNews.com, "After a year of racial reckoning, Black lawmakers believe they can finally eliminate Confederate Heroes Day in Texas," 17 Jan. 2021 Iran's presidential election in June could bring in a new government that's more in line with hard-liners within the inner circle of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word in all key decisions. Washington Post, "Europe sees a narrow window for Biden to revive Iranian nuclear deal," 17 Jan. 2021 All sectors -- including public, private, non-profit, schools or government -- may be considered. Staff Report, NOLA.com, "Top Workplaces nominations close on Jan. 22. Nominate your company now," 16 Jan. 2021 Its adherents hold that Mr. Trump is trying to save America from a shadowy ring of pedophiles who control the government and the Democratic Party. New York Times, "Before the Capitol Riot, Calls for Cash and Talk of Revolution," 16 Jan. 2021 With the backing of Congress and the expertise of private and government scientists, the Trump administration has delivered two highly effective vaccines and more are on the way. Time, "Joe Biden Unveils a $1.9 Trillion Plan to Stem the Virus and Steady the Economy," 15 Jan. 2021 The federal government and election experts discovered no election fraud on the part of Dominion Voting Systems or its voting machines. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Dominion Voting machines create ballots only for audits, testing," 15 Jan. 2021

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 3

History and Etymology for government

see govern

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Time Traveler for government

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for government

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Government.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/government. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for government

government

noun
How to pronounce government (audio)

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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