[ guhv-er-ner, ‐uh-ner ]
/ ˈgʌv ər nər, ‐ə nər /
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the executive head of a state in the U.S.
a person charged with the direction or control of an institution, society, etc.: the governors of a bank; the governor of a prison.
Also called governor general. the representative of the crown, as in the Commonwealth of Nations.
a ruler or chief magistrate appointed to govern a province, town, fort, or the like.
Machinery. a device for maintaining uniform speed regardless of changes of load, as by regulating the supply of fuel or working fluid.
British Informal.
  1. one's father.
  2. one's employer.
  3. any man of superior rank or status.



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Origin of governor

1250–1300; Middle English governour <Old French governeor, gouverneur <Latin gubernātōrem, accusative of gubernātor, equivalent to gubernā(re) to steer, govern + -tor -tor
In governor, the process of dissimilation—the tendency for neighboring like sounds to become unlike or for one of them to disappear entirely—commonly results in the loss of the first [r] /r/ of [guhv-er-ner], /ˈgʌv ər nər/, producing the pronunciation [guhv-uh-ner]. /ˈgʌv ə nər/. This pronunciation is heard even in regions where postvocalic [r] /r/ is not usually dropped. A further loss, of the medial unstressed vowel, results in [guhv-ner]. /ˈgʌv nər/. All three pronunciations are standard. See colonel, February, library.
sub·gov·er·nor, nounun·der·gov·er·nor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for governor

/ (ˈɡʌvənə) /


Related adjective: gubernatorial
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
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