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

Examples from the Web for governance

British Dictionary definitions for governance


/ (ˈɡʌvənəns) /


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