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 The governor's announcement comes as many other states consider whether or not to reopen schools this fall, as urged by President Trump. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Utah governor announces mask mandate for public school students, faculty, and visitors this fall," 9 July 2020 In late March, major trade associations - from the National Association of Home Builders to the Retail Industry Leaders Association - bombarded the governor's office with requests to be designated as essential. Anchorage Daily News, "Some states that raced to reopen let businesses write their own rules, documents show," 9 July 2020 Hofbrauhaus took a cautious approach to reopening in May, when the governor's stay-at-home order was loosened. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Hofbrauhaus Cleveland closes after 2 test positive," 8 July 2020 The governor's office indicated in a statement Tuesday that Beshear supports providing mail-in and early voting for future elections in November and beyond. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Kentuckians sue to keep primary election's absentee voting option in place for fall," 8 July 2020 Refresh this page closer to 2 p.m. to watch the governor's briefing here. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, "Coronavirus in Ohio: Cities turn to masks, Gov. Mike DeWine to give update on state's response," 8 July 2020 But the court's conservative majority tightens to 4-3 in August with the addition of liberal justice Jill Karfosky, and conservative justice Brian Hagedorn sided with the liberal minority in the May ruling tossing out the governor's order. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tony Evers signals he might try to mandate face masks statewide but expects a legal challenge," 7 July 2020 The Guardsmen will be assigned to protect state buildings, including the Capitol, the governor's mansion, and the headquarters for the Department of Public Safety. Fox News, "Georgia governor declares state of emergency over deadly Atlanta shootings," 7 July 2020 The governor's statement says more than 30 Georgians were wounded by gunfire over the holiday weekend, including an 8-year-old girl and four others who died. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "5 things to know for July 7: Coronavirus, election, Supreme Court, Hong Kong, police," 7 July 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

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Governor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 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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