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’
    • ‘He urged the British government and other western nations to take action against the regime.’
    • ‘The states in turn are required to report this data annually to the federal government.’
    • ‘It is a disease that has the medical community concerned and the government involved.’
    • ‘After the fall of the Soviet Union, Armenia is now an autonomous nation with its own government.’
    • ‘Three big problems make it hard for the federal government to attract top talent.’
    • ‘The media and the government enthusiastically greeted the Federal Court decision.’
    • ‘It promises to balance the federal budget in every year of an NDP government.’
    • ‘That government and nation may commit itself to that ideology for one hundred years or more.’
    • ‘She also encourages adults to apply for financial aid from the federal government.’
    • ‘Everywhere you read that we should fight attempts by the government to start gun control.’
    • ‘You gave the email address of every member of your family to the federal government?’
    • ‘It fails to see the difference between the people of a nation and the government.’
    • ‘Some of my friends worked for the federal government and were able to retire by the time they were my age.’
    • ‘Globalization has come to us, and no nation, country or government can escape from it.’
    • ‘The federal government is running a huge deficit now, so that's not going to be much help.’
    • ‘When it comes to identifying the powers of the federal government, we know where to look.’
    • ‘To control inflation, the government has tightened credit and limited approvals for land use.’
    • ‘By investing in the sports infrastructure of the nation, the government is on a winner.’
    • ‘So the government will control more of our lives but without making our old age much safer.’
    • ‘I am retired from the Federal government and use the Net to pass a lot of my time.’
    administration, executive, regime, authority, powers that be, directorate, council, leadership, management
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The system by which a nation, state, or community is governed.
      ‘a secular, pluralistic, democratic government’
      • ‘Australia is a parliamentary democracy based on the British system of government.’
      • ‘This makes democratic government in such states impossible, for the natural terminus is a single dominant party.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It means a form of government which is fully democratic and entirely accountable.’
      • ‘The American bureaucracy fits somewhat awkwardly into its democratic system of government.’
      • ‘Is this really the way in which democratic government should work, where a minority hold sway over the ignored majority?’
      • ‘First, federalism can deliver a model of limited, democratic government within a nation.’
      • ‘With it went the whole structure of provincial, local, and municipal government.’
      • ‘It is about whether we will have a system of government and a social system in which we see each other as equals.’
      • ‘A second shift is to move tax and spending from federal government to states and towns.’
      • ‘He appears to have thought that Communism was as good as any other system of government.’
      • ‘The tradition is a legacy from the days when Democrats dominated state government.’
      • ‘We are not in the area of common law or a unitary system of government.’
      • ‘The blame lies with central government which has restricted local council funding.’
      • ‘We must try to live up to our stated principles of human rights, the rule of law and democratic government.’
      • ‘Is a democratic form of government a necessary pre-condition for the existence of human rights?’
      • ‘The Republic of Cyprus is a democracy with a presidential system of government.’
      • ‘Once upon a time, democratic government at all levels, reflected the views of the majority of the people.’
      • ‘This in turn would pose dangers to the operation of democratic government within the United States.’
    2. 1.2The action or manner of controlling or regulating a nation, organization, or people.
      ‘rules for the government of the infirmary’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Surely the Liberal Democrats are in government and the money is designated only for opposition parties?’
      • ‘The Commission's work has also influenced the manner in which government operates.’
      • ‘English is spoken by most people in government, business, and tourism.’
      • ‘He's talking about class and race and a vision of how government can help regular people.’
      • ‘Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Liberal Democrats in government in Scotland have set the new agenda for devolution.’
      • ‘The War Crimes act was passed while the Conservative Party was in government.’
      • ‘She advocates the control of the excesses of capitalism by regulation and government.’
      • ‘It has acknowledged that the Labour Party can be the only major party of stable government in this nation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The privatizers traditionally claim that government has no business in business.’
      • ‘A simple view suggests that the making of foreign policy is the exclusive business of government.’
      • ‘How does the historian account for that relationship and its government of people's lives?’
      rule, running, direction, administration, leadership, leading, control, regulation, guidance, guiding, management, conduct, supervision, superintendence, steering
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3The group of people in office at a particular time; administration.
      ‘the election of the new government’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They have never had much faith in governments and have always believed in direct action.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘At the low point, the US government appealed to foreign nations to contribute to the work.’
      • ‘But we need to build a movement so strong that it can force the governments of the world to act.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In truth the problems facing the American and British governments are of their own making.’
      • ‘Giving and receiving freedom will take only a day, but running a government and a nation is not an easy task.’
      • ‘It is going to be interesting to see how long the federal government waits before stepping in.’
      • ‘The country's government is now keen to attract western investment into other sectors.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘But, as of midnight tomorrow, government funding for that contract will stop.’
      • ‘He was told that Washington wants a strong central government in the country.’
      • ‘After all, it was the nation, the government, who would pay, not the hospitals.’
      • ‘Let's consider for a moment the possibility of a minority government being elected in the next federal vote.’
      • ‘He was to form no less than fourteen governments as Prime Minister during the rest of his life.’
      • ‘We know that people have worked hard for their money, and that governments must spend it wisely.’
      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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It seems that English allots its nominative and oblique forms of pronouns in terms of position, not true government as in German.’


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