government

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English governement, from Old French governement (French gouvernement), from Latin gubernatio (management, government), from Ancient Greek κυβερνισμός (kubernismós), κυβέρνησις (kubérnēsis, steering, pilotage, guiding), from κυβερνάω (kubernáō, I steer, drive, guide, pilot) + -ment.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

government (countable and uncountable, plural governments)

  1. The body with the power to make and/or enforce laws to control a country, land area, people or organization.
    • 2013 July 6, “The rise of smart beta”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8843, page 68: 
      Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.
  2. (grammar, linguistics) The relationship between a word and its dependents
  3. A group of people who hold a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in a given territory.
  4. The state and its administration viewed as the ruling political power.
    • 2013 June 22, “Snakes and ladders”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 76: 
      Risk is everywhere. From tabloid headlines insisting that coffee causes cancer (yesterday, of course, it cured it) to stern government warnings about alcohol and driving, the world is teeming with goblins.
  5. (uncountable) The management or control of a system.
  6. The tenure of a chief of state.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

In the United States, "government" is considered to be divided into three branches; the legislature (the House of Representatives and the Senate) which makes law, the Administration (under the President) which runs sections of government within the law, and the Courts, which adjudicate on matters of the law. This is a much wider meaning of "government" than exists in other countries where the term "government" means the ruling political force of the prime minister and his/her cabinet ministers (what Americans would call the Administration). In Britain, the administrative organs of the nation are collectively referred to as "the state". In Canada government is used in both senses and neither state nor administration are used. Applied to many countries in continental Europe (when using English), the British usage is common.

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]

Statistics[edit]