Definition of government in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈɡʌv(ə)nˌm(ə)nt//ˈɡʌvəm(ə)nt/


  • 1[treated as singular or plural] The group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office.

    ‘the government's economic record’
    ‘successive Labour governments’
    • ‘We are of the view that governments are there to serve the needs of the people and maximise the benefits for all.’
    • ‘Do you feel confident that the federal government is doing enough to secure air travel?’
    • ‘But, as of midnight tomorrow, government funding for that contract will stop.’
    • ‘We know that people have worked hard for their money, and that governments must spend it wisely.’
    • ‘At the low point, the US government appealed to foreign nations to contribute to the work.’
    • ‘One of the immediate tasks of a new government and the international community will be bringing war criminals to justice.’
    • ‘Has there been a new era of provincial partnership with the federal government?’
    • ‘Giving and receiving freedom will take only a day, but running a government and a nation is not an easy task.’
    • ‘He was to form no less than fourteen governments as Prime Minister during the rest of his life.’
    • ‘It is going to be interesting to see how long the federal government waits before stepping in.’
    • ‘The federal government has been unsuccessful for ten years in negotiating a peace.’
    • ‘Let's consider for a moment the possibility of a minority government being elected in the next federal vote.’
    • ‘However, that was a political decision based on the actions of an entire nation and its government.’
    • ‘After all, it was the nation, the government, who would pay, not the hospitals.’
    • ‘The country's government is now keen to attract western investment into other sectors.’
    • ‘I attended law school and worked as an attorney for a state government agency for 10 years.’
    • ‘We have seen successive governments and home secretaries promise to be tough on crime.’
    • ‘He was told that Washington wants a strong central government in the country.’
    • ‘In truth the problems facing the American and British governments are of their own making.’
    • ‘They have never had much faith in governments and have always believed in direct action.’
    • ‘But we need to build a movement so strong that it can force the governments of the world to act.’
    administration, executive, regime, authority, powers that be, directorate, council, leadership, management
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    1. 1.1[mass noun]The system by which a state or community is governed.
      ‘a democratic form of government’
      • ‘A second shift is to move tax and spending from federal government to states and towns.’
      • ‘The blame lies with central government which has restricted local council funding.’
      • ‘Australia is a parliamentary democracy based on the British 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.’
      • ‘Once upon a time, democratic government at all levels, reflected the views of the majority of the people.’
      • ‘We are not in the area of common law or a unitary system of government.’
      • ‘This in turn would pose dangers to the operation of democratic government within the United States.’
      • ‘Is this really the way in which democratic government should work, where a minority hold sway over the ignored majority?’
      • ‘With it went the whole structure of provincial, local, and municipal government.’
      • ‘As time moves on we see more States conforming to this system of government.’
      • ‘The Republic of Cyprus is a democracy with a presidential system of government.’
      • ‘He appears to have thought that Communism was as good as any other system of government.’
      • ‘It means a form of government which is fully democratic and entirely accountable.’
      • ‘This makes democratic government in such states impossible, for the natural terminus is a single dominant party.’
      • ‘Our system of government can be called many things, but democracy is certainly is not.’
      • ‘First, federalism can deliver a model of limited, democratic government within a nation.’
      • ‘Is a democratic form of government a necessary pre-condition for the existence of human rights?’
      • ‘The tradition is a legacy from the days when Democrats dominated state government.’
      • ‘The American bureaucracy fits somewhat awkwardly into its democratic system of government.’
      • ‘We must try to live up to our stated principles of human rights, the rule of law and democratic government.’
    2. 1.2[mass noun]The action or manner of controlling or regulating a state, organization, or people.
      ‘rules for the government of the infirmary’
      • ‘The War Crimes act was passed while the Conservative Party was in government.’
      • ‘In an age of open government the system is still adept at keeping the public in the dark.’
      • ‘Surely the Liberal Democrats are in government and the money is designated only for opposition parties?’
      • ‘English is spoken by most people in government, business, and tourism.’
      • ‘Democracy is government by the greater number, and this is the system we have chosen to be governed by.’
      • ‘None the less skill and wisdom were needed in politics and the business of good government.’
      • ‘On the one hand, this faith in government helped promote a high rate of investment.’
      • ‘She advocates the control of the excesses of capitalism by regulation and government.’
      • ‘Policy, in that key meaning, is part of the rational management and conduct of government.’
      • ‘In its period in government the party encouraged religious prejudices and backwardness.’
      • ‘A simple view suggests that the making of foreign policy is the exclusive business of government.’
      • ‘The privatizers traditionally claim that government has no business in business.’
      • ‘Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.’
      • ‘It has acknowledged that the Labour Party can be the only major party of stable government in this nation.’
      • ‘Liberal Democrats in government in Scotland have set the new agenda for devolution.’
      • ‘They will be forced to turn to the Social Democrats who remain in government to work together.’
      • ‘The Commission's work has also influenced the manner in which government operates.’
      • ‘How does the historian account for that relationship and its government of people's lives?’
      • ‘Is this something the Liberal Democrats in government will seek to change?’
      • ‘He's talking about class and race and a vision of how government can help regular people.’
      rule, running, direction, administration, leadership, leading, control, regulation, guidance, guiding, management, conduct, supervision, superintendence, steering
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  • 2Grammar
    The relation between a governed and a governing word.

    • ‘It seems that English allots its nominative and oblique forms of pronouns in terms of position, not true government as in German.’
    • ‘There's a lot more variation going on with the government of forms of complement verbs than most scholars of English think.’
    • ‘I'm tempted to suggest that government by the nearest conjunct is in fact the rule for vernacular English.’


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