Definition of guv'nor in US English:

guv'nor

noun

British
informal
  • 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’
    • ‘The officers were suffering from low morale caused by their guv'nor (let's call him Jimmy) who was intensely disliked.’
    • ‘The guy I called didn't answer the phone by saying ‘‘Allo, guv'nor!’’
    • ‘Pressley had better be quick as, if he doesn't reach the podium sharpish, he might find his guvnor has already lifted the pot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A few times, I have arrived at a big racing yard for first lot and got there before the 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.’
    • ‘He's a big man, who doesn't like people getting too close to the guvnor.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘Worth a tenner of anyone's money - know what I mean, guv'nor?’
    • ‘‘If you want to find this bloke so much, guv'nor,’ he once suggested, ‘why not look in the telephone directory?’’
    • ‘‘I saw your guv'nor lighting up his fag after telling me not to,’ he told me with obvious glee.’
    • ‘Oh no, you wouldn't catch me doing that, guv'nor.’
    • ‘And I fell in love with pubs, with being a guv'nor, with all of it.’
    • ‘Although no one has ever called me the guvnor with hair like this!’
    • ‘‘Officially, in the beginning, he was the guvnor.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ryan's career declined along with that of his guv'nor and he will hand in his licence at the end of the season.’
    chief, head, principal, boss
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 19th century: representing a nonstandard or colloquial pronunciation.

Pronunciation

guv'nor

/ˈɡəvnər//ˈɡəvnər/