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 governor (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 Former governor Terry McAuliffe is the front-runner in a field of five candidates. Matthew Barakat, ajc, "Political newcomer Youngkin wins Virginia GOP governor race," 11 May 2021 The last Republican celebrity to find success in a California recall election was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became the state’s governor in 2003 with 48.5% of the vote after Gov. Gray Davis was recalled. Alison Durkee, Forbes, "Just 6% Of Californians Want Caitlyn Jenner As Governor, Poll Finds," 11 May 2021 The Beckers have hosted in their home a Maryland governor, famed Baltimore art collector and philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff, who is also a family member, and artist Frank Stella. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "John Russell Pope’s Charlcote House in Baltimore Lists for $4.995 Million," 11 May 2021 Things changed on April 2nd, 2020, when Tennessee’s governor Bill Lee issued an executive order requiring Nashville residents — and everyone else across the state — to stay at home. Andrew Leahey, Rolling Stone, "How Virtual Songwriting Sessions Became the Nashville Norm," 11 May 2021 New Jersey is the only other state with a governor’s race this year, and Democrats are so heavily favored there that that contest is not considered competitive. Washington Post, "Trump endorses GOP’s Youngkin for Virginia governor as campaign mudslinging gets underway," 11 May 2021 The Democratic governor used the CARES money for a broad variety of purposes, including to buy protective equipment and provide aid to nursing homes, hospitals, child care centers, small businesses, renters, movie theaters and live venues. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin receiving $700 million less than expected from federal stimulus," 11 May 2021 Only about 30,000 voters waited out lines to cast ballots for governor and other statewide offices at remote locations on Saturday; turnout for the 2017 GOP primary was about 366,000. Rick Klein, Alisa Wiersema, ABC News, "GOP gets glimpse of messy future in Virginia: The Note," 11 May 2021 Oujiri, 63, returned the support, saying the governor had ensured the home had adequate personal protective equipment and testing supplies. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Coal miners, crawfish offer, full-capacity Opry: News from around our 50 states," 11 May 2021

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

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Governor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for governor



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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