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 The civil unrest that followed Floyd’s death led the governor to call in the National Guard. NBC News, "Man sentenced to four years in prison for police station fire at George Floyd protest," 29 Apr. 2021 The House approved a different bill last month that also attempts to rein in the governor’s powers. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Firefly lottery, vaccine exemptions, data breach: News from around our 50 states," 29 Apr. 2021 The attack Monday evening in Yattakou village in the Sahel region's Seno area has also caused many residents to flee, said Salfo Kabore, the Sahel region's governor in a statement. Sam Mednick, Star Tribune, "18 people killed in north Burkina Faso attack," 29 Apr. 2021 As both a former Indiana congressman and governor, Pence will seek to be an active presence on the campaign trail for GOP candidates running for House, Senate and gubernatorial races in 2022. Michael Warren, CNN, "Pence reemerges in South Carolina as he weighs 2024 bid and navigates relationship with Trump," 29 Apr. 2021 The Republican governor repeated his call for unvaccinated residents 16 and older to do the same and join the more than 2.4 million residents who are currently fully vaccinated., "Baker says he ‘ached all over’ after 2nd COVID-19 vaccine, urges residents to get their shots ASAP," 29 Apr. 2021 The Florida governor will reportedly visit the battleground state of Pennsylvania on May 20 to speak to the Allegheny County Republican Party. Jeremy Beaman, Washington Examiner, "Trump floats 2024 run with DeSantis as possible running mate," 29 Apr. 2021 Joe Dryden, a member of the Education Law Association and professor at Texas Wesleyan University, noted that private schools are balancing student safety with the need to follow the governor’s order. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, "North Texas colleges and universities are optimistic about returning to campus in the fall," 29 Apr. 2021 Florida law requires a governor to set a special election — but doesn’t impose a timetable. Anthony Man,, "Congressional candidate wants federal judge to order DeSantis to schedule election to replace Alcee Hastings," 29 Apr. 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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Governor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 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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Comments on governor

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