verb (used with object)

to govern or manage badly.

Nearby words

  1. misfortune,
  2. misfunction,
  3. misgender,
  4. misgive,
  5. misgiving,
  6. misgovernance,
  7. misgovernment,
  8. misguidance,
  9. misguide,
  10. misguided

Origin of misgovern

First recorded in 1375–1425, misgovern is from the late Middle English word misgovernen. See mis-1, govern

Related formsmis·gov·ern·ment, mis·gov·ern·ance, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for misgovern

  • The bulk of the proceeds fell into the hands of the clergy and the hidalgos sent out to rob and misgovern the islands.

    The Philippine Islands|Ramon Reyes Lala
  • We may govern ourselves as we please, we may misgovern ourselves as we please.

    The Last Voyage|Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • For the sake of dishonorable peace they leave these native states to misgovern themselves and stink to high heaven!

    Rung Ho!|Talbot Mundy
  • For, to misgovern well, one must open his purse as often as he forces the purses of others.

    The Book of Khalid|Ameen Rihani

British Dictionary definitions for misgovern



to govern badly
Derived Formsmisgovernment, nounmisgovernor, noun

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 misgovern



c.1400, from mis- (1) + govern. Related: Misgoverned; misgoverning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper