View synonyms for government


[ guhv-ern-muhnt, ‑er-muhnt ]


  1. the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration:

    Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society.

  2. the form or system of rule by which a state, community, etc., is governed:

    monarchical government; episcopal government.

  3. the governing body of persons in a state, community, etc.; administration.
  4. a branch or service of the supreme authority of a state or nation, taken as representing the whole:

    a dam built by the government.

  5. (in some parliamentary systems, as that of the United Kingdom)
    1. the particular group of persons forming the cabinet at any given time:

      The prime minister has formed a new government.

    2. the parliament along with the cabinet:

      The government has fallen.

  6. direction; control; management; rule:

    the government of one's conduct.

  7. a district governed; province.
  8. Grammar. the extablished usage that requires that one word in a sentence should cause another to be of a particular form:

    the government of the verb by its subject.


/ ˌɡʌvəˈmɛntəl; ˌɡʌvənˈmɛntəl; ˈɡʌvənmənt; ˈɡʌvəmənt /


  1. the exercise of political authority over the actions, affairs, etc, of a political unit, people, etc, as well as the performance of certain functions for this unit or body; the action of governing; political rule and administration
  2. the system or form by which a community, etc, is ruled

    tyrannical government

    1. the executive policy-making body of a political unit, community, etc; ministry or administration

      yesterday we got a new government

    2. ( capital when of a specific country )

      the British Government

    1. the state and its administration

      blame it on the government

    2. ( as modifier )

      a government agency

  3. regulation; direction
  4. grammar the determination of the form of one word by another word

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Grammar Note

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Pronunciation Note

Normal phonological processes are reflected in a variety of pronunciations for government. Most commonly, the first [n] of [guhv, -ern-m, uh, nt] assimilates to the immediately following [m], with the resulting identical nasal sounds coalescing to give the pronunciation [guhv, -er-m, uh, nt]. This pronunciation is considered standard and occurs throughout the U.S. For speakers in regions where postvocalic [r] is regularly lost, as along the Eastern Seaboard and in the South, the resulting pronunciation is [guhv, -, uh, -m, uh, nt] or, with loss of the medial unstressed vowel, [guhv, -m, uh, nt]. Further assimilation, in which the labiodental [v], in anticipation of the bilabial quality of the following [m], becomes the bilabial stop [b], leads in the South Midland and Southern U.S. to the pronunciation [guhb, -m, uh, nt]. See isn't.

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Derived Forms

  • governmental, adjective
  • ˌgovernˈmentally, adverb

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Other Words From

  • gov·ern·men·tal [guhv-ern-, men, -tl, ‑er-, men, ‑], adjective
  • govern·mental·ly adverb
  • counter·govern·ment noun
  • non·govern·ment noun
  • nongov·ern·mental adjective
  • pro-govern·ment adjective
  • re·govern·ment noun
  • semi·govern·mental adjective
  • semi·govern·mental·ly adverb
  • sub·govern·ment noun
  • under·govern·ment noun
  • ungov·ern·mental adjective
  • ungov·ern·mental·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of government1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Old French word governement. See govern, -ment

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Example Sentences

Unlike government funding, donations come with minimal accountability and no guaranteed public oversight.

Canopy Growth, a Canadian cannabis company, said it is accelerating its US growth strategy based on expectations of “significant reform” led by the Democratic party now that it controls two branches of government.

From Quartz

Coastal peasants and Afromestizos farmers continued to fight for independence from the central government.

In an economy where governments are printing money hand over fist, people want a more secure place to put their assets.

The good part about it, if you would call it that, is that it is impossible to imagine how the government would be able to block a lot of this harmful speech.

A few years back, designer John Galliano was fined by the government for sharing just such anti-semitic sentiments in public.

Not actual CIA agents, but U.S. government personnel who have worked very closely with the CIA, and who are fans of the show.

I think the response of the French government so far has been pretty appropriate in that regard.

The United States government might not release that information for years, if ever.

But most likely it was linked to the way priests identify with the poor in the face of government and criminal abuses.

Dockier, a prominent leader of the Levelers, in the times of the English commonwealth, was shot by order of the government.

The patriarchal decree of the government was a good deal of a joke on the plains, anyway—except when you were caught defying it!

History gives them scant notice, and the Federal government has failed to reward them as they deserve.

A royal decree (December 31, 1622) orders the Dominicans in the Philippines not to meddle in affairs of government.

For the first time in his experience the Corsican had to meet the forces of a nation and not of a government.