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90s Slang You Should Know


[guhv-er-nuh ns] /ˈgʌv ər nəns/
government; exercise of authority; control.
a method or system of government or management.
Origin of governance
1325-75; Middle English governaunce < Old French < Medieval Latin gubernantia; see govern, -ance
Related forms
nongovernance, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for governance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So have I seen this grand law asserting the governance of its God in those Alpine crags on which the stars seem to pause.

    The Quiver 3/1900 Anonymous
  • This was soon made apparent during the first year of her governance.

    Belgium Emile Cammaerts
  • With right good will, said Arthur; for Sir Galahalt, the haut prince, shall have you in governance.

  • Side by side with that, as we now see, we must change the governance of nations.

    The Village Wife's Lament Maurice Hewlett
  • She developed a theory on the governance of England, beautifully frank and simple.

    The New Machiavelli Herbert George Wells
British Dictionary definitions for governance


government, control, or authority
the action, manner, or system of governing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for governance

late 14c., "act or manner of governing," from Old French gouvernance "government, rule, administration; (rule of) conduct," from governer (see govern). Fowler writes that the word "has now the dignity of incipient archaism," but it might continue useful in its original sense as government comes primarily to mean "the governing power in a state."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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