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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Now, Nord Stream 2 is indefinitely suspended, Germany is backing a Russian oil import ban, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz has overruled the pacifist tendencies in his coalition government by spending an extra $113 billion on defense. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 7 May 2022 Since the Vietnam War and Watergate, Americans’ trust in their government has fallen. New York Times, 6 May 2022 The name of the owner was not specified, and Italy only said its government had asked the E.U. to add the person to its sanctions list. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 More recently, however, its government began to participate, invited despite it engaging in practices that other members of the region’s diplomatic bodies, such as the Organization of American States, have harshly condemned. Tracy Wilkinsonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 In response to the federal plan to hold back water in Lake Powell this year, Colorado River Indian Tribes Chairwoman Amelia Flores released a statement saying her government is in discussions about leaving more of its water in Lake Mead. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2022 China’s citizens have begun to reject their government’s totalitarian pandemic lockdowns. Liancho Han, National Review, 4 May 2022 While most eyes were on celeb transformations for the 2022 Met Gala, behind the scenes, our government was fashioning a different kind of change. Danielle James, ELLE, 4 May 2022 Restoring the public’s trust in their government by defending U.S. constitutional law. Anchorage Daily News, 3 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of government

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for government

see govern

Learn More About government

Time Traveler for government

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near government

governless

government

governmental atonement

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Statistics for government

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Government.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/government. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for government

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

More from Merriam-Webster on government

Nglish: Translation of government for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of government for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about government

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