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 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 His purchases in 2018 and 2019 exceeded the $20,000 legal threshold government entities were allowed to spend without first seeking public bids, according to records. R.g. Dunlop, ProPublica, "How These Jail Officials Profit From Selling E-Cigarettes to Inmates," 7 Feb. 2020 China’s government can exert stringent outbreak control measures, such as shutting down public transportation, and take unprecedented moves, such as imposing a citywide quarantine, which would not be easy to do in other countries. John A. Lednicky, The Conversation, "As China suffers from coronavirus, some wonder: Is it really that serious? 3 questions answered," 7 Feb. 2020 In November, a group of federal agencies released a one-page framework that sets out how government entities, political candidates and the public would be notified of foreign interference. Olivia Gazis, CBS News, "Bipartisan Senate report urges presidents to "put aside politics" to fight election interference," 6 Feb. 2020 In a December 2019 working paper, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania researchers measured land-use rules, zoning and permitting regulations and how many government entities must sign off on new construction, among other restrictions. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Rentals Everywhere, but No Place to Live," 6 Feb. 2020 After all, some industries need standards that only the federal government can enforce. Patrick Pizzella, National Review, "The Deregulatory Achievements of the Trump Labor Department," 6 Feb. 2020 The federal government has told self-driving companies to apply for exemptions to its vehicle standards in order to more quickly get innovative technologies onto roadways. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "US clears the way for this self-driving vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals," 6 Feb. 2020 The federal government has declared major disasters in 321 of the 411 counties in those four states — 78% of the counties — making them eligible for emergency federal aid, Federal Emergency Management Agency records show. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, "U.S. Army Corps Looks to Avoid Repeat of 2019 Midwest Floods," 3 Feb. 2020 Another scenario involved the federal government soliciting proposals for a massive infrastructure project. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "What the Green New Deal Could Mean for Iowa," 31 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 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

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Government.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/governmental?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=g&file=govern07. Accessed 23 Feb. 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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