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 primary root cause of humanitarian migration from Central America is the U.S. government. Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, "The “Root Cause” of Central American Migration Is Broken U.S. Policies," 1 Apr. 2021 The forever nature of this relationship means that the U.S. government can roll over and refinance its debt indefinitely. David Beckworth, National Review, "Why Investors Can’t Quit U.S. Debt," 31 Mar. 2021 Federal officials say the unexpected shipment delays will not affect Johnson & Johnson’s ability to fulfill its commitment to help supply the U.S. government with enough vaccine to immunize every adult by the end of May. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Johnson & Johnson vaccine shipments to be delayed after production mix-up ruins 15M doses," 31 Mar. 2021 Google Maps will, however, tell users about a location’s air quality such as allergens, smog, and smoke through a separate air quality feature powered by partners including the U.S. government's AirNow and the Central Pollution Board in India. Fortune, "Google Maps wants to help users avoid getting stuck in the rain," 30 Mar. 2021 As part of its settlement with the U.S. government, Volkswagen agreed to set up Electrify America. Paul A. Eisenstein, NBC News, "Volkswagen's name change of U.S. 'Voltswagen' operations was marketing prank," 30 Mar. 2021 Not that paying reparations is a new concept for the U.S. government. Los Angeles Times, "Column: It’s a guaranteed income program, but think of it as a test case for reparations," 27 Mar. 2021 Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, developed its vaccine in collaboration with U.S. government scientists. USA Today, "Comparing the COVID-19 vaccines," 27 Mar. 2021 The cleanup, in addition to the longtime presence of contaminants on both islands, have angered many locals who blame the U.S. government for their health problems. DÁnica Coto, Star Tribune, "Report: Military cleanup in Puerto Rico islands slow-going," 26 Mar. 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

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Government.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/government. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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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