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

In July last year, Tesla signed two deals with the Shanghai government – one to build a high-end factory with an annual capacity of 500,000 electric cars, and another investment agreement to set up a development and innovation center. Washington Post, "Come On, China. Tesla’s Just a Shiny Object," 18 Sep. 2019 The New York Times and Politico have reported that Chao may have used her Cabinet position to benefit the company and increase its influence and status with the Chinese government. BostonGlobe.com, "McCabe lawyers say attacks make fair trial impossible," 17 Sep. 2019 One was Hillary Clinton, who was seen as having sold herself out to the Chinese government. Seth Hettena, The New Republic, "The Obscure Newspaper Fueling the Far-Right in Europe," 17 Sep. 2019 Perkins took various positions in New York state government, and, in 1933, became the Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Elizabeth Warren’s Crusade Against Corruption," 17 Sep. 2019 These things interfere with their ability to hobble government agencies and reduce oversight. Oliver Milman, Scientific American, "The Silenced: Meet the Climate Whistle-Blowers Muzzled by the Trump Administration," 17 Sep. 2019 Mark Alexander, the president of SARU, has admitted that his organisation, along with the government, needs to do more to introduce rugby to poor schools in black neighbourhoods. The Economist, "Chester Williams stood against South African rugby’s racism," 16 Sep. 2019 From his long time in government, as a senator and vice president, the 76-year-old Biden has deep ties in the black community. Bill Barrow, SFChronicle.com, "Biden on racism: Whites ‘can never fully understand’," 15 Sep. 2019 The latter is an intelligence and security organization that provides signals intelligence and information assurance to the U.K.’s government and armed forces. Pomerado News, "Del Norte senior among 10 Americans selected for cybersecurity exchange program," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for government

Last Updated

22 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for government

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

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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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