Definition of government in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡəvər(n)mənt/


1 [treated as singular or plural] The governing body of a nation, state, or community: an agency of the federal government [as modifier]: government controls
More example sentences
  • Three big problems make it hard for the federal government to attract top talent.
  • That government and nation may commit itself to that ideology for one hundred years or more.
  • It fails to see the difference between the people of a nation and the government.
1.1The system by which a nation, state, or community is governed: a secular, pluralistic, democratic government
More example sentences
  • The American bureaucracy fits somewhat awkwardly into its democratic system of government.
  • It is about whether we will have a system of government and a social system in which we see each other as equals.
  • Is a democratic form of government a necessary pre-condition for the existence of human rights?
1.2The action or manner of controlling or regulating a nation, organization, or people: rules for the government of the infirmary
More example sentences
  • She advocates the control of the excesses of capitalism by regulation and government.
  • He's talking about class and race and a vision of how government can help regular people.
  • In its period in government the party encouraged religious prejudices and backwardness.
1.3The group of people in office at a particular time; administration: the election of the new government
More example sentences
  • We have seen successive governments and home secretaries promise to be tough on crime.
  • He was to form no less than fourteen governments as Prime Minister during the rest of his life.
  • They have never had much faith in governments and have always believed in direct action.
administration, executive, regime, authority, powers that be, directorate, council, leadership;
cabinet, ministry;
informal feds
(the government) Washington
1.4 another term for political science.
2 Grammar The relation between a governed and a governing word.
Example sentences
  • It seems that English allots its nominative and oblique forms of pronouns in terms of position, not true government as in German.
  • I'm tempted to suggest that government by the nearest conjunct is in fact the rule for vernacular English.
  • There's a lot more variation going on with the government of forms of complement verbs than most scholars of English think.


Middle English: from Old French governement, from governer (see govern).

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