Definition of guv'nor in English:



  • A man in a position of authority such as one's employer or father (often used as a term of address)

    ‘I had a lecture from the guv'nor’
    ‘can I help you, guv'nor?’
    • ‘‘I saw your guv'nor lighting up his fag after telling me not to,’ he told me with obvious glee.’
    • ‘Think street-wise gentleman or guv'nor in clean cut double-breasted three-piece suits that flash vibrant linings of orange, reds and pinks, under heavy sheepskin coats and you've got the Lilliard look.’
    • ‘And I fell in love with pubs, with being a guv'nor, with all of it.’
    • ‘He's a big man, who doesn't like people getting too close to the guvnor.’
    • ‘For a lot of white rock boys of a certain age, he was the guv'nor; initially, his solo material was at least tolerated by the trendier crowd.’
    • ‘‘The guv'nor said he has never had him better,’ said the winning jockey, also landing his first Gold Cup and biggest domestic success to date.’
    • ‘The officers were suffering from low morale caused by their guv'nor (let's call him Jimmy) who was intensely disliked.’
    • ‘Pressley had better be quick as, if he doesn't reach the podium sharpish, he might find his guvnor has already lifted the pot.’
    • ‘‘Officially, in the beginning, he was the guvnor.’’
    • ‘Worth a tenner of anyone's money - know what I mean, guv'nor?’
    • ‘Ryan's career declined along with that of his guv'nor and he will hand in his licence at the end of the season.’
    • ‘A few times, I have arrived at a big racing yard for first lot and got there before the guv'nor.’
    • ‘I know I was driving too fast, I know it is irresponsible, I know I have no argument - I was caught, bang to rights guv'nor.’
    • ‘Oh no, you wouldn't catch me doing that, guv'nor.’
    • ‘The guy I called didn't answer the phone by saying ‘‘Allo, guv'nor!’’
    • ‘Because of the winners I've had, the guv'nor has put me on nicer horses and that's given me confidence.’
    • ‘I wasn't, honest guv'nor, I was just trying to look at the stars.’
    • ‘But Jackie's a good guv'nor in design terms because, if there's a criticism of my own design it's that it's sometimes a bit over intellectual, and she levels me out.’
    • ‘‘If you want to find this bloke so much, guv'nor,’ he once suggested, ‘why not look in the telephone directory?’’
    • ‘Although no one has ever called me the guvnor with hair like this!’
    chief, head, principal, boss
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Mid 19th century: representing a non-standard or colloquial pronunciation.