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.
- gov·ern·a·ble, adjective
- gov·ern·a·bil·i·ty, gov·ern·a·ble·ness, noun
- o·ver·gov·ern, verb (used with object)
- re·gov·ern, verb (used with object)
- su·per·gov·ern, verb (used with object)
- un·gov·erned, adjective
- un·gov·ern·ing, adjective
- well-governed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use govern in a sentence
When the existing Republican Party has been reduced to political rubble, those who do not have a home in the Democratic Party can clear away the rubble, find a governing philosophy and develop a constituency.
The upfront philosophy is governed by wanting to create lifetime value relationships with clients.‘Proactive is the path’: Group Nine’s Geoff Schiller on his selling strategy | Kayleigh Barber | February 9, 2021 | Digiday
“We need to unite for us to take the majority and govern,” McCarthy told the gathering, according to a lawmaker in the room.McCarthy moves to keep splintering GOP intact, with protection for both Cheney and Greene | Mike DeBonis, Paul Kane | February 4, 2021 | Washington Post
One of his attorneys, David Moyse, said Tuesday that, at the time of the assault, his client was governed by broader issues connected with years of alcohol abuse.Bethesda bike-trail assailant receives probation for attack in flier-snatching case | Dan Morse | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
Federal health privacy laws don’t govern a lot of biometric data collected by teams, legal experts say.As biometrics boom, who owns athletes’ data? It depends on the sport. | Nick Busca | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
“We restored our brand, showed we could govern, we took the temperature down,” says Feehery.Can Obama and a Republican Senate Find Common Ground? | Eleanor Clift | November 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“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 | Christopher Dickey | September 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
We think he will govern better for the Iraqi people and we will be able to work with him.Exclusive: Inside Obama's Push for Regime Change in Iraq | Eli Lake | August 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
We think he will govern more inclusively and govern more with an eye with what is better for Iraq than the current situation.Exclusive: Inside Obama's Push for Regime Change in Iraq | Eli Lake | August 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
By jumping into the race, Lewis could force Emanuel to govern to the left to fend off her attacks.
It is true that such application is not so high or grand as when they govern ideas, but it is equally genuine.Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
Those who really count in a nation and those who govern its destinies for good or ill are those who are born in it.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
As the valve V1 is open, the sound waves formed in the pipe P1 will govern the speed of vibration of the motor M.The Recent Revolution in Organ Building | George Laing Miller
Let modesty and kind feeling govern your conversation, as other rules of life.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness | Florence Hartley
All agree that the intention of the parties should govern, but differ as to intention expressed in the words they have used.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
British Dictionary definitions for govern
(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 direct: to 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
- governable, adjective
- governability or governableness, noun
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