verb (used with object)

to govern or manage badly.

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 misgovernment

Contemporary Examples of misgovernment

  • Misgovernment and lack of economic opportunity has created "fertile ground for the insurgency."

    The Daily Beast logo
    Strategy? What Strategy?

    Stephen Holmes

    September 29, 2009

  • The second and equally grave threat is misgovernment at national, provincial, and local levels.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Strategy? What Strategy?

    Stephen Holmes

    September 29, 2009

Historical Examples of misgovernment

  • What a tale of misgovernment, tyranny, and weakness, does this request tell!

  • Who was the authority who should carry on the government—or misgovernment—of the colony?


    Charles Reginald Enock

  • To South Carolina fell the bitterest experience of misgovernment.

    The Negro and the Nation

    George S. Merriam

  • The former has suffered greatly from misgovernment and the waste of its resources.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • "Ay, Glendower, for misgovernment is universal," rejoined Wolfe.

    The Disowned, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for misgovernment



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 misgovernment

late 14c., from mis- (1) + government.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper