- 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 for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for governable
For she was wilful, you know, and would not have been governable.The Letters Of Mark Twain, Volume 6, 1907-1910
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
He is not governable by the ordinary motives which determine human action.Social Rights And Duties
He chose to remain away until it should have sufficiently worn down to be governable.Aurora the Magnificent
What he does not like will then be the forbidding law of a most governable people, what he does like the consenting.The Celt and Saxon, Complete
But the baroness and he were of one opinion, that Alvan in love was not likely to be governable by prudent counsel.The Tragic Comedians, Complete
- (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 governable
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.