- 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
Related Wordsadministrative, dominant, ruling, guiding, executive, ascendant, determining, controlling, absolute, conducting, ordering, overseeing, directing, mastering, authoritative, influential, magisterial, regulatory, supreme, supervisory
Examples from the Web for governing
This is not because of bad leaders, or polarized politics, but because of a governing structure that is fatally flawed.Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans
Philip K. Howard
December 27, 2014
The Millennial Action Project (MAP) seeks to engage young people in politics and give them more of a voice in governing.When Will We See a #Millennial Congress?
December 26, 2014
Anyway, President Obama is going to have to change his style of governing.The GOP Senate: A New Utopia Dawns
P. J. O’Rourke
November 8, 2014
Today, it's our governing elites, regardless of party, who are most apt rush us into the future.Our Lame Cult of the Presidency
October 14, 2014
Linge says then, in late 2011, that the National Transitional Council is supposed to be governing Libya.This Sexy Thriller Is Just the Document the Benghazi Commission Needs
September 15, 2014
It speaks to us through the processes of governing in the sovereignties of 48 States.
Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.
It is as eager on behalf of the man behind a counter as on that of him who is governing a country.The Conquest of Fear
The mind is formed not by its innate powers, but by its governing desires.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
The governing classes alone were reasonable in keeping to small families.Fruitfulness
- (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 governing
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.