gov·​er·​nor | \ ˈgə-vᵊn-ər 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 , -​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

Democrat Kelda Roys breastfed in a commercial for her ultimately unsuccessful bid for governor of Wisconsin. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "In a Record-Breaking Election Year for Women, Here Are the Races to Watch," 17 Sep. 2018 The vice president is well known in Congress, having climbed the ladder as the leader of a conservative faction to serve as chairman of the House GOP conference before running for governor of Indiana. Laurie Kellman, The Seattle Times, "Pence tested in role of messenger for Trump policies," 13 Jan. 2019 A week after the night of the 2018 midterm elections, Georgia’s race for governor is still undecided. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Georgia State Senator Nikema Williams Was Arrested During a Protest About Uncounted Votes in the Race Between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp," 14 Nov. 2018 Last week, Joshua McKerrow, a photojournalist at the Capital Gazette, in a moving tweet thread described doing an annual story on holiday decorations at the governor’s mansion in Maryland. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Time’s 2018 Person of the Year is Jamal Khashoggi and other “Guardians” of the truth," 11 Dec. 2018 Likewise, the amount of governor's races won by openly pro-choice Democrats is a hopeful sign that voters want to protect reproductive rights. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "What the Midterm Election Results Actually Mean for Abortion Access," 7 Nov. 2018 The Republican governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, said Friday that the trails and tourist facilities at the Grand Canyon will remain open in the event of a shutdown, due to a plan by the state to temporarily fund federal park operations. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "What’s Open and What’s Closed in a Partial Government Shutdown," 21 Dec. 2018 The governor of Arizona barred the company from further testing in his state, and Uber subsequently laid off hundreds of safety drivers in Arizona and Pittsburgh. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber’s self-driving cars return to public roads for the first time since fatal crash," 20 Dec. 2018 Wisconsin’s lame-duck session strips the new governor of power; Theresa May comes home from Brussels empty-handed. Libby Nelson, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Scott Walker’s revenge," 15 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for governor

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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

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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 , 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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on governor

Spanish Central: Translation of governor

Nglish: Translation of governor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of governor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about governor

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esteemed in general opinion

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