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 The government’s projections coincided with the release of new report from Utah State University’s Center for Colorado River Studies in which researchers focused on how dry future conditions might become. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, "Risk of Colorado River shortage is on the rise, could hit within 5 years, officials say," 17 Sep. 2020 Both sources of funding derive from the federal government’s CARES Act. cleveland, "Hints of normalcy emerge as Independence School District begins fall term," 16 Sep. 2020 In communities of color, in particular, that have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, many already don’t trust government’s role in health and in their lives. Richard E. Besser, Scientific American, "We Can't Allow the CDC to Be Tainted by Politics," 15 Sep. 2020 The government’s stimulus checks and extra $600 a week in jobless benefits helped soften the blow, supporting incomes and spending amid widespread unemployment. Olivia Rockeman, Bloomberg.com, "U.S. Incomes Surged, Poverty Fell to 60-Year Low Before Virus," 15 Sep. 2020 Sectors that remained during their low point for the year include manufacturing, government, information and business services. Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Oregon unemployment falls to 7.7%, below the national rate," 15 Sep. 2020 Statewide, the government, other services, retail trade and financial-services sectors saw the sharpest recoveries between April and July. Kristen Mosbrucker, NOLA.com, "Long recovery ahead for New Orleans after coronavirus wipes out thousands of jobs," 15 Sep. 2020 The government, worried about food-price inflation, has since encouraged farmers to restock and larger commercial farms to expand. Xie Yu And Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "China Serves Up Pig-Backed Loans for Its Hogtied Farmers," 14 Sep. 2020 The Afghan government’s team includes four women, who vow to preserve women's right to work, education, and participation in political life, all denied to women when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. David Clark Scott, The Christian Science Monitor, "Monday Sunrise Briefing: W. Coast wildfires or 'climate fires'?," 14 Sep. 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

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Government.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/government. Accessed 24 Sep. 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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