from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of governing, especially the control and administration of public policy in a political unit.
  • n. The office, function, or authority of a governing individual or body.
  • n. Exercise of authority in a political unit; rule.
  • n. The agency or apparatus through which a governing individual or body functions and exercises authority.
  • n. A governing body or organization, as:
  • n. The ruling political party or coalition of political parties in a parliamentary system.
  • n. The cabinet in a parliamentary system.
  • n. The persons who make up a governing body.
  • n. A system or policy by which a political unit is governed.
  • n. Administration or management of an organization, business, or institution.
  • n. Political science.
  • n. Grammar The influence of a word over the morphological inflection of another word in a phrase or sentence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The body with the power to make and/or enforce laws to control a country, land area, people or organization.
  • n. A group of people who hold a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in a given territory.
  • n. The state and its administration viewed as the ruling political power.
  • n. The management or control of a system.
  • n. The tenure of a chief of state.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of governing; the exercise of authority; the administration of laws; control; direction; regulation.
  • n. The mode of governing; the system of polity in a state; the established form of law.
  • n. The right or power of governing; authority.
  • n. The person or persons authorized to administer the laws; the ruling power; the administration.
  • n. The body politic governed by one authority; a state.
  • n. Management of the limbs or body.
  • n. The influence of a word in regard to construction, requiring that another word should be in a particular case.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Guidance; direction; regulation; management; control: as, the government of one's conduct.
  • n. The exercise of authority in the administration of the affairs of a state, community, or society; the authoritative direction and restraint. exercised over the actions of men in communities, societies, or states.
  • n. The system of polity or body of principles and rules by which the affairs of a state, community, or society are administered; an established or prescribed method of guiding, directing, or managing affairs: as, representative or constitutional government; monarchical or republican government; the presbyterian, episcopal, or congregational form of church government.
  • n. The governing body of persons in a state or community; the executive power; the administration.
  • n. A state or body politic governed by one authority; a province or division of territory ruled by a governor.
  • n. Right of governing; administrative authority; the office or function of one charged with the direction and control of affairs.
  • n. Conduct or behavior; self-control or restraint.
  • n. In grammar, the established usage which requires that one word in a sentence should cause another to be of a particular form; grammatical regimen.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of governing; exercising authority
  • n. the study of government of states and other political units
  • n. the organization that is the governing authority of a political unit
  • n. (government) the system or form by which a community or other political unit is governed


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English governement, from Old French governement (French gouvernement), from Latin gubernatio ("management, government"), from Ancient Greek κυβερνισμός (kubernismos), κυβέρνησις (kubernēsis, "steering, pilotage, guiding"), from κυβερνάω (kubernaō, "I steer, drive, guide, pilot") + -ment.



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  • I was listening to a speech by Rupert Murdoch on the radio today. He pronounced this word 'gumment' several times.

    November 8, 2008

  • This has never been truer.

    October 2, 2008

  • "All government, in its essence, is organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man."

    - H. L. Mencken.

    September 29, 2008