[guhv-er-nuh ns]


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 formsnon·gov·ern·ance, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for governance

Contemporary Examples of governance

Historical Examples of governance

  • Lysken, it should be a right strange world, where thou hadst the governance!

    Clare Avery

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • This was soon made apparent during the first year of her governance.


    Emile Cammaerts

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

  • Again and again complaints were raised of 'want of governance.'

  • In the face of such facts, the estates continued to be withheld from her governance.

    Vittoria, Complete

    George Meredith

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

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