- 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 govern on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for governed
He campaigned and governed in poetry, and we are all the richer for it.President Cuomo Would’ve Been a Lion
January 2, 2015
Our Western propaganda was in that sense entirely true: the East German régime was indeed hated by those it governed.The Stacks: How The Berlin Wall Inspired John le Carré’s First Masterpiece
John le Carré
November 8, 2014
What the record really shows is just how much the fate of the Presidency is governed by the vagaries of chance.Political Mythbusting: Third Term’s the Charm
August 24, 2014
Does government enhance or diminish the safety of the governed?War! What Is It Good For? A Lot
August 13, 2014
The black residents of Ferguson, Missouri are governed by white police and they say it feels more like Gaza than America.Michael Brown's Hometown Is Under Occupation
August 13, 2014
America is the most governed and legislated country in the world!'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
It conflicted with every other emotion that governed his being.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Longitudinal stability is governed by means of the front rudder.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
Young men are so governed by fashion, and so afraid of ridicule.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
The blow had driven in the fishermen, and we thought it wise to be governed by their experience.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
- (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 governed
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.