- 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 govern on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for well-governed
Will you, then, avoid these well-governed cities, and the best-ordered men?
Colombo is an especially well-regulated and well-governed town.The Pearl of India
Maturin M. Ballou
As in the German's ideal of a well-governed city, everything is forbidden.The Fijians
Very naturally he fell into thinking of these discreet and well-governed West End streets as a part of his mother's atmosphere.The Research Magnificent
H. G. Wells
There appears in the face of the woman a mixture of fear, hope, and modesty; in the bridegroom, a well-governed rapture.The Tatler, Volume 3
- (of a political unit, organization, nation, etc) directed and controlled efficiently or satisfactorily
- (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 well-governed
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.