- to rule over by right of authority: to govern a nation.
- to exercise a directing or restraining influence over; guide: the motives governing a decision.
- to hold in check; control: to govern one's temper.
- to serve as or constitute a law for: the principles governing a case.
- Grammar. to be regularly accompanied by or require the use of (a particular form). In They helped us, the verb helped governs the objective case of the pronoun we.
- to regulate the speed of (an engine) with a governor.
- to exercise the function of government.
- to have predominating influence.
Origin of govern
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for govern
“We restored our brand, showed we could govern, we took the temperature down,” says Feehery.Can Obama and a Republican Senate Find Common Ground?
November 4, 2014
“The NTC pretends to govern, but it doesn't have any real power in the interior,” Tombstone tells him.This Sexy Thriller Is Just the Document the Benghazi Commission Needs
September 15, 2014
We think he will govern better for the Iraqi people and we will be able to work with him.
We think he will govern more inclusively and govern more with an eye with what is better for Iraq than the current situation.
By jumping into the race, Lewis could force Emanuel to govern to the left to fend off her attacks.Could Rahm Lose to This Infamous Union Leader?
July 3, 2014
Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him?
For, Madam, could I be supposed to govern the passions of either of the gentlemen?Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
It was composed of the grim psychological laws that govern the abnormal.Viviette
William J. Locke
It is too apt to govern itself by what a bold spirit is encouraged to expect of it.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
You know that I am sensitive and brave, and that it is my character to govern.Little Dorrit
- (also intr) to direct and control the actions, affairs, policies, functions, etc, of (a political unit, organization, nation, etc); rule
- to exercise restraint over; regulate or directto govern one's temper
- to be a predominant influence on (something); decide or determine (something)his injury governed his decision to avoid sports
- to control the speed of (an engine, machine, etc) using a governor
- to control the rate of flow of (a fluid) by using an automatic valve
- (of a word) to determine the inflection of (another word)Latin nouns govern adjectives that modify them
Word Origin and History for govern
late 13c., from Old French governer (11c., Modern French gouverner) "govern," from Latin gubernare "to direct, rule, guide, govern" (cf. Spanish gobernar, Italian governare), originally "to steer," a nautical borrowing from Greek kybernan "to steer or pilot a ship, direct" (the root of cybernetics). The -k- to -g- sound shift is perhaps via the medium of Etruscan. Related: Governed; governing.