Definition of government in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘She also encourages adults to apply for financial aid from the federal government.’
    • ‘Three big problems make it hard for the federal government to attract top talent.’
    • ‘You gave the email address of every member of your family to the federal government?’
    • ‘Globalization has come to us, and no nation, country or government can escape from it.’
    • ‘It promises to balance the federal budget in every year of an NDP government.’
    • ‘When it comes to identifying the powers of the federal government, we know where to look.’
    • ‘Some of my friends worked for the federal government and were able to retire by the time they were my age.’
    • ‘Everywhere you read that we should fight attempts by the government to start gun control.’
    • ‘I am retired from the Federal government and use the Net to pass a lot of my time.’
    • ‘He urged the British government and other western nations to take action against the regime.’
    • ‘To control inflation, the government has tightened credit and limited approvals for land use.’
    • ‘So the government will control more of our lives but without making our old age much safer.’
    • ‘After the fall of the Soviet Union, Armenia is now an autonomous nation with its own government.’
    • ‘The states in turn are required to report this data annually to the federal government.’
    • ‘The media and the government enthusiastically greeted the Federal Court decision.’
    • ‘It fails to see the difference between the people of a nation and the government.’
    • ‘By investing in the sports infrastructure of the nation, the government is on a winner.’
    • ‘The federal government is running a huge deficit now, so that's not going to be much help.’
    • ‘It is a disease that has the medical community concerned and the government involved.’
    • ‘That government and nation may commit itself to that ideology for one hundred years or more.’
    administration, executive, regime, authority, powers that be, directorate, council, leadership, management
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    1. 1.1 The system by which a nation, state, or community is governed.
      ‘a secular, pluralistic, democratic government’
      • ‘He appears to have thought that Communism was as good as any other system of government.’
      • ‘This in turn would pose dangers to the operation of democratic government within the United States.’
      • ‘Australia is a parliamentary democracy based on the British system of government.’
      • ‘As time moves on we see more States conforming to this system of government.’
      • ‘Our system of government can be called many things, but democracy is certainly is not.’
      • ‘The Republic of Cyprus is a democracy with a presidential system of government.’
      • ‘With it went the whole structure of provincial, local, and municipal government.’
      • ‘A second shift is to move tax and spending from federal government to states and towns.’
      • ‘It means a form of government which is fully democratic and entirely accountable.’
      • ‘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 are not in the area of common law or a unitary system of government.’
      • ‘Is this really the way in which democratic government should work, where a minority hold sway over the ignored majority?’
      • ‘Once upon a time, democratic government at all levels, reflected the views of the majority of the people.’
      • ‘It is about whether we will have a system of government and a social system in which we see each other as equals.’
      • ‘The blame lies with central government which has restricted local council funding.’
      • ‘Is a democratic form of government a necessary pre-condition for the existence of human rights?’
      • ‘First, federalism can deliver a model of limited, democratic government within a nation.’
      • ‘We must try to live up to our stated principles of human rights, the rule of law and democratic government.’
      • ‘This makes democratic government in such states impossible, for the natural terminus is a single dominant party.’
    2. 1.2 The action or manner of controlling or regulating a nation, organization, or people.
      ‘rules for the government of the infirmary’
      • ‘Surely the Liberal Democrats are in government and the money is designated only for opposition parties?’
      • ‘Is this something the Liberal Democrats in government will seek to change?’
      • ‘On the one hand, this faith in government helped promote a high rate of investment.’
      • ‘Policy, in that key meaning, is part of the rational management and conduct of government.’
      • ‘The Commission's work has also influenced the manner in which government operates.’
      • ‘Liberal Democrats in government in Scotland have set the new agenda for devolution.’
      • ‘A simple view suggests that the making of foreign policy is the exclusive business of government.’
      • ‘In an age of open government the system is still adept at keeping the public in the dark.’
      • ‘They will be forced to turn to the Social Democrats who remain in government to work together.’
      • ‘She advocates the control of the excesses of capitalism by regulation and government.’
      • ‘None the less skill and wisdom were needed in politics and the business of good government.’
      • ‘The War Crimes act was passed while the Conservative Party was in government.’
      • ‘In its period in government the party encouraged religious prejudices and backwardness.’
      • ‘English is spoken by most people in government, business, and tourism.’
      • ‘The privatizers traditionally claim that government has no business in business.’
      • ‘Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.’
      • ‘How does the historian account for that relationship and its government of people's lives?’
      • ‘He's talking about class and race and a vision of how government can help regular people.’
      • ‘It has acknowledged that the Labour Party can be the only major party of stable government in this nation.’
      • ‘Democracy is government by the greater number, and this is the system we have chosen to be governed by.’
      rule, running, direction, administration, leadership, leading, control, regulation, guidance, guiding, management, conduct, supervision, superintendence, steering
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    3. 1.3 The group of people in office at a particular time; administration.
      ‘the election of the new government’
      • ‘Giving and receiving freedom will take only a day, but running a government and a nation is not an easy task.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Let's consider for a moment the possibility of a minority government being elected in the next federal vote.’
      • ‘It is going to be interesting to see how long the federal government waits before stepping in.’
      • ‘In truth the problems facing the American and British governments are of their own making.’
      • ‘But we need to build a movement so strong that it can force the governments of the world to act.’
      • ‘We know that people have worked hard for their money, and that governments must spend it wisely.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But, as of midnight tomorrow, government funding for that contract will stop.’
      • ‘We are of the view that governments are there to serve the needs of the people and maximise the benefits for all.’
      • ‘The country's government is now keen to attract western investment into other sectors.’
      • ‘Do you feel confident that the federal government is doing enough to secure air travel?’
      • ‘At the low point, the US government appealed to foreign nations to contribute to the work.’
      • ‘They have never had much faith in governments and have always believed in direct action.’
      • ‘However, that was a political decision based on the actions of an entire nation and its government.’
      • ‘The federal government has been unsuccessful for ten years in negotiating a peace.’
      • ‘I attended law school and worked as an attorney for a state government agency for 10 years.’
      • ‘After all, it was the nation, the government, who would pay, not the hospitals.’
      • ‘He was to form no less than fourteen governments as Prime Minister during the rest of his life.’
      administration, executive, regime, authority, powers that be, directorate, council, leadership, management
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4
      another term for political science
  • 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).