- 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
Synonyms for govern
Antonyms for govern
Examples from the Web for well-governed
Historical Examples of 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 for govern
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.