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 According to a statement, Abdul Mahdi also shared his objections regarding U.S. forces entering Iraq and American aircraft flying in Iraqi airspace without the consent of the Iraqi government. Washington Post, "Iraq asks United States to set up mechanism for troop withdrawal," 10 Jan. 2020 According to a statement, Abdul Mahdi also shared his objections regarding U.S. forces entering Iraq and American aircraft flying in Iraqi airspace without the consent of the Iraqi government. Sarah Dadouch, Anchorage Daily News, "Iraq asks U.S. to set up mechanism for troop withdrawal," 10 Jan. 2020 In 1986, Congress strengthened the Act by increasing incentives for whistleblowers to file lawsuits alleging false claims on behalf of the government. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "Feds recover $3 billion in fraud cases, including $48 million from former HealthSouth," 10 Jan. 2020 Moynihan, hardly a racist, was pilloried for his insights and driven out of government. Fred Siegel, National Review, "The Forgotten Failures of the Great Society," 9 Jan. 2020 Just shy of two years ago, this column explored the heightened importance of open government when public health is at risk. Christa Westerberg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bill in Wisconsin Legislature requires prompt notification when groundwater is polluted," 9 Jan. 2020 The Islamic Republic gave advance warning to Iraq, which in turn tipped off the United States, a senior member of the Iraqi government told me. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Iran Attacks U.S. Forces, Then Both Sides Stand Down," 8 Jan. 2020 The strike was especially problematic, O'Connell said, because it was launched without the consent of the Iraqi government. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Assassination or legitimate act in the war on terror? Legal debate rages as Iran retaliates against US for Soleimani killing," 8 Jan. 2020 However, Democrats won majorities in Virginia's House and Senate in November, giving the party full control of the state's government for the first time in more than two decades. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Virginia attorney general reintroduces bills aimed at cracking down on hate crimes," 7 Jan. 2020

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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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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Government.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/governmental. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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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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