gov·​er·​nor | \ ˈgə-vᵊn-ər How to pronounce governor (audio) also ˈgə-vər-nər \

Definition of governor

1 : one that governs: such as
a : one that exercises authority especially over an area or group
b : an official elected or appointed to act as ruler, chief executive, or nominal head of a political unit
d : the managing director and usually the principal officer of an institution or organization
e : a member of a group that directs or controls an institution or society
2 : tutor
3a slang : one looked upon as governing
b : mister, sir usually used as a term of address
4a : an attachment to a machine (such as a gasoline engine) for automatic control or limitation of speed
b : a device giving automatic control (as of pressure or temperature)

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Other Words from governor

governorate \ ˈgə-​vᵊn-​ər-​ət How to pronounce governorate (audio) , -​ˌāt also  ˈgə-​vər-​nər-​ \ noun

Examples of governor in a Sentence

the governor of the state of Florida He was the chairman of the board of governors at the school. the governor of the Bank of England Wait here while I get the governor.
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Recent Examples on the Web Back in 2010, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Editorial Board endorsed Scott Walker for governor as the Republican Party uncritically embraced the Koch brothers’ economic libertarian ideology that government is bad. David D. Haynes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: Many letter writers are upset with the Wisconsin Legislature's inaction on coronavirus. Others are upset with the Editorial Board.," 20 Nov. 2020 McConaughey wouldn’t be the first celebrity to run for governor in Texas. Elizabeth Thompson, Dallas News, "Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey leaves door open for a run for Texas governor," 19 Nov. 2020 Faulconer is closing out his time as mayor and has considered running for governor in the past. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Republican mayor of San Diego was right to slap down Gov. Newsom," 19 Nov. 2020 An Instagram post depicts Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams beside text that claims her 2018 run for governor was stunted by a dirty politician. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Post online about Stacey Abrams' 2018 run for Georgia governor is partly false," 18 Nov. 2020 News of the gathering broke on the same day — coincidentally and, for the governor, unfortunately — that Newsom’s health and human services secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, outlined new state guidelines on private gatherings. oregonlive, "White-hot anger follows California governor’s visit to fancy dinner during COVID-19, politicians Hawaii trip," 18 Nov. 2020 Unlike in 2018, when DeSantis' election for governor, the U.S. Senate race and the agriculture commissioner race all went through lengthy recounts and several court challenges, this year’s results involved comparatively little drama. Gray Rohrer,, "DeSantis, elections board certify Florida results for president, other offices," 17 Nov. 2020 Upton Sinclair ran for governor on an anti-poverty platform, and in the film, that’s got Hearst and other wealthy businessmen railing about socialism. Will Coviello,, "'Mank' is a lush dive into old Hollywood and life of screenwriter behind 'Citizen Kane'," 17 Nov. 2020 In 2018, when Kemp opted to run for governor, Raffensperger successfully ran to replace him, defeating Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow. Jeff Amy,, "Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger battles own party, says Sen. Lindsey Graham pressured him to discard ballots," 17 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'governor.' 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 governor

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for governor

Time Traveler

The first known use of governor was in the 14th century

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Statistics for governor

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Governor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for governor


How to pronounce governor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of governor

: a person who is the leader of the government of a state, province, etc.
: a person who is part of a group of people who control a large organization, school, etc.
chiefly British : a person who is in charge of a school, prison, or other large organization or institution


gov·​er·​nor | \ ˈgə-vər-nər How to pronounce governor (audio) , ˈgə-və-nər \

Kids Definition of governor

: a person who governs and especially the elected head of a state of the United States


gov·​er·​nor | \ ˈgə-vər-nər How to pronounce governor (audio) \

Legal Definition of governor

: one that governs: as
a : one that exercises authority especially over an area or group
b : an official elected or appointed to act as ruler, chief executive, or nominal head of a political unit specifically : the chief executive of a U.S. state
c : the managing director and usually the principal officer of an institution or organization
d : a member of a group that controls or directs an institution the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors

Other Words from governor

governorship noun

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