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govern

[guhv-ern]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to rule over by right of authority: to govern a nation.
  2. to exercise a directing or restraining influence over; guide: the motives governing a decision.
  3. to hold in check; control: to govern one's temper.
  4. to serve as or constitute a law for: the principles governing a case.
  5. 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.
  6. to regulate the speed of (an engine) with a governor.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to exercise the function of government.
  2. to have predominating influence.
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Origin of govern

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French gouverner < Latin gubernāre to steer (a ship) < Greek kybernân to steer
Related formsgov·ern·a·ble, adjectivegov·ern·a·bil·i·ty, gov·ern·a·ble·ness, nouno·ver·gov·ern, verb (used with object)re·gov·ern, verb (used with object)su·per·gov·ern, verb (used with object)un·gov·erned, adjectiveun·gov·ern·ing, adjectivewell-gov·erned, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for govern on Thesaurus.com
1. reign. 2. control, sway, influence, conduct, supervise, superintend.

Synonym study

1. See rule.

Antonyms

1. obey.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for well-governed

Historical Examples

  • Will you, then, avoid these well-governed cities, and the best-ordered men?

    Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates

    Plato

  • 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

    Basil Thomson

  • Very naturally he fell into thinking of these discreet and well-governed West End streets as a part of his mother's atmosphere.

  • There appears in the face of the woman a mixture of fear, hope, and modesty; in the bridegroom, a well-governed rapture.


British Dictionary definitions for well-governed

well-governed

adjective (well governed when postpositive)
  1. (of a political unit, organization, nation, etc) directed and controlled efficiently or satisfactorily
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govern

verb (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to direct and control the actions, affairs, policies, functions, etc, of (a political unit, organization, nation, etc); rule
  2. to exercise restraint over; regulate or directto govern one's temper
  3. to be a predominant influence on (something); decide or determine (something)his injury governed his decision to avoid sports
  4. to control the speed of (an engine, machine, etc) using a governor
  5. to control the rate of flow of (a fluid) by using an automatic valve
  6. (of a word) to determine the inflection of (another word)Latin nouns govern adjectives that modify them
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Derived Formsgovernable, adjectivegovernability or governableness, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French gouverner, from Latin gubernāre to steer, from Greek kubernan
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 well-governed

govern

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper