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See also: Govern and govèrn



From Middle English governen, governe, from Anglo-Norman and Old French governer, guverner, from Latin gubernō, from Ancient Greek κυβερνάω (kubernáō, I steer, drive, govern).



govern (third-person singular simple present governs, present participle governing, simple past and past participle governed)

  1. (transitive) To make and administer the public policy and affairs of; to exercise sovereign authority in.
    The old king governed the land wisely.
  2. (intransitive) To exercise political authority; to run a government.
  3. (transitive) To control the actions or behavior of; to keep under control; to restrain.
    Govern yourselves like civilized people.
    a student who could not govern his impulses
    • 2016, Justin Deschamps, Find the strength, courage, and discipline to govern yourself or be governed by someone else.:
      Find the strength, courage, and discipline to govern yourself or be governed by someone else.
  4. (transitive) To exercise a deciding or determining influence on.
    Chance governs the outcome of many card games.
  5. (intransitive) To have or exercise a determining influence.
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To handle, to manage, to oversee (a matter, an affair, a household, etc.).
  7. (transitive) To control the speed, flow etc. of; to regulate.
    a valve that governs fuel intake
    • 1968 April 18, National Transportation Safety Board, “2.1 Analysis”, in Aircraft Accident Report: Mohawk Airlines, Inc., BAC 1-11, N1116J, Near Blossburg, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1967[1], archived from the original on 24 June 2022, page 33:
      The weight and c.g. of the aircraft were within limits at takeoff and were calculated to have remained so until the tail began to disintegrate in flight. Both engines were developing a high level of power at impact, and the APU was rotating at or near governed speed. The landing gear, flaps, and spoiler/speed brakes were retracted. There was no evidence of structural or system failures other than those directly resulting from the fire.
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To direct the course of, to guide in some direction, to steer.
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To look after, to take care of, to tend to (someone or some plant).
  10. (transitive, obsolete) To manage, to control, to work (a tool or mechanical device).
  11. (transitive, grammar) To require that a certain preposition, grammatical case, etc. be used with a word; sometimes used synonymously with collocate.
    Coordinate term: agree

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


govern (plural governs)

  1. The act of governing



From the verb governar, or possibly from Late Latin gubernus or gubernius,[1] from Latin gubernum or gubernō.



govern m (plural governs)

  1. government

Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ govern”, in Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana, Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana, 2024

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