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

In response, governments have released jellyfish-eating fish and turtles into their waters, sent out spotter boats to locate the swarms, and set up dedicated phone lines to report them. David Adam, Smithsonian, "To Make Jellyfish More Appetizing, Add Light and Sound Effects to the Dining Experience," 12 July 2019 The data would be gathered by adding questions to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, a comprehensive, government-run examination of how students pay for college education. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Many College Students Are Too Poor to Eat," 11 July 2019 Questions about government transparency began with the task group's infancy. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Westfield mayor pushed for Grand Junction Plaza project. His two sons profited from the deal.," 11 July 2019 Any settlement, under the proposal, would have to be approved by 75 percent of the participating government bodies. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Lawyers suing opioid companies create tool to calculate possible settlements for Cuyahoga County, other areas," 11 July 2019 The maps, created by the federal government in the 1930s, explicitly used race to determine creditworthiness and investment risk within neighborhoods. jsonline.com, "Unequal violence, unequal justice: Homicide in one of America’s most segregated cities," 10 July 2019 Lawyers for Trump had argued, in part, that the account, @realDonaldTrump, was a personal account created in 2009 and that blocking the users was not a government action restricting free speech. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al.com, "Merrill says his Twitter case different from Trump’s," 9 July 2019 Privacy advocates warn that innovation in satellite imagery is outpacing the US government’s (to say nothing of the rest of the world’s) ability to regulate the technology. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The ugly side of Facebook’s pivot to privacy is starting to show," 9 July 2019 This influential job involved being the main channel of communication between the monarch and government, as well as overseeing the Queen’s program and correspondence. Olivia Blair, Town & Country, "Who Are Princess Diana's Sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes?," 6 July 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

14 Jul 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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