What does govern mean?

Definitions for govern
ˈgʌv ərngov·ern

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word govern.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. regulate, regularize, regularise, order, governverb

    bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage; impose regulations

    "We cannot regulate the way people dress"; "This town likes to regulate"

  2. governverb

    direct or strongly influence the behavior of

    "His belief in God governs his conduct"

  3. govern, ruleverb

    exercise authority over; as of nations

    "Who is governing the country now?"

  4. governverb

    require to be in a certain grammatical case, voice, or mood

    "most transitive verbs govern the accusative case in German"


  1. governverb

    To make and administer the public policy and affairs of; to exercise sovereign authority in.

  2. governverb

    To control the actions or behavior of; to keep under control; to restrain.

  3. governverb

    To exercise a deciding or determining influence on.

    Chance usually governs the outcome of the game.

  4. governverb

    To control the speed, flow etc. of; to regulate.

    a valve that governs fuel intake.

  5. governverb

    To exercise political authority; to run a government.

  6. governverb

    To have or exercise a determining influence.

  7. governverb

    To require that a certain preposition, grammatical case, etc. be used with a word; sometimes used synonymously with collocate.

  8. Etymology: and governer, guberno, from κυβερνάω

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To GOVERNverb

    Etymology: gouverner, French; guberno, Latin.

    This inconvenience is more hard to be redressed in the governor than the governed; as a malady in a vital part is more incurable than in an external. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    Slaves to our passions we become, and then
    It grows impossible to govern men. Edmund Waller.

    The welfare of that is the chief point, which he is to carry always in his eye, and by which he is to govern all his counsels, designs, and actions. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Go after her, she’s desperate; govern her. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

  2. To Governverb

    To keep superiority; to behave with haughtiness.

    By that rule,
    Your wicked atoms may be working now
    To give bad counsel, that you still may govern. Dryden.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Governverb

    to direct and control, as the actions or conduct of men, either by established laws or by arbitrary will; to regulate by authority

  2. Governverb

    to regulate; to influence; to direct; to restrain; to manage; as, to govern the life; to govern a horse

  3. Governverb

    to require to be in a particular case; as, a transitive verb governs a noun in the objective case; or to require (a particular case); as, a transitive verb governs the objective case

  4. Governverb

    to exercise authority; to administer the laws; to have the control

  5. Etymology: [OF. governer, F. gouverner, fr. L. gubernare to steer, pilot, govern, Gr. kyberna^n. Cf. Gubernatorial.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Govern

    guv′ėrn, v.t. to direct: to control: to rule with authority: (gram.) to determine the mood, tense, or case of.—v.i. to exercise authority: to administer the laws.—adj. Gov′ernable.—ns. Gov′ernall (Spens.), government; Gov′ernance, government: control: direction: behaviour; Governante (guv-ėr-nant′, or guv′-), a governess (obs.); Gov′erness, a lady who has charge of the instruction of young ladies: a tutoress (Daily-governess, one who goes every day to her pupils' house; Nursery-, having charge of young children only, tending as well as teaching them; Resident-, living in the family of her pupils).—v.i. to act as governess.—n. Gov′erness-cart, a light two-wheeled vehicle with two face-to-face seats at the sides only.—adj. Gov′erning, having control.—n. Gov′ernment, a ruling or managing: control: system of governing: the body of persons authorised to administer the laws, or to govern a state: the territory over which sovereign power extends: (gram.) the power of one word in determining the form of another: (Shak.) conduct.—adj. of or pursued by government.—adj. Government′al, pertaining to or sanctioned by government.—ns. Gov′ernor, a ruler: one invested with supreme authority: a tutor: (slang) a father or master: (mach.) a regulator, or contrivance for maintaining uniform velocity with a varying resistance: (B.) a pilot; Gov′ernor-gen′eral, the supreme governor in a country: a viceroy; Gov′ernorship.—Governmental theory (see Grotian). [O. Fr. governer—L. gubernāre—Gr. kybernan.]

Editors Contribution

  1. govern

    To create, direct and manage using unifying, just, fair, ethical and moral thought, behavior, actions and all forms of unity governmental legislation.

    All forms of unity government throughout a country create with a sense of ethics and morality to govern a nation with respect and dignity and ensure all people have optimum health, human rights, right to life and a fair share of income, wealth and resources.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 15, 2020  
  2. govern

    To direct and manage.

    The board of directors did govern justly and effectively.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 7, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. govern

    The govern symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the govern symbol and its characteristic.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'govern' in Verbs Frequency: #622

How to pronounce govern?

How to say govern in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of govern in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of govern in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of govern in a Sentence

  1. Souleymane Guengueng:

    We want to show the Chadian people, and why not all Africans, that no, you cannot govern in terror and criminality.

  2. John Dryden:

    All human things are subject to decay,And, when Fate summons, monarchs must obeyThis Flecknoe found, who like Augustus youngWas call'd to empire, and had govern'd longIn prose and verse, was own'd, without disputeThrough all the realms of nonsense, absolute.

  3. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

    In 30 seconds, he offended gays, he offended women, he offended 18 million people and he offended one of the largest congressional delegations in the country, you can't govern like that. You can't win a campaign like that. And he's getting worst and the discussion is only degenerating.

  4. Alexander Hamilton, P. 217 - A History of the American People by P. Johnson:

    Every man ought to be supposed a knave, and to have no other end, in all his actions, but private interest. By this interest we must govern him, and by means of it, make him cooperate to public good, notwithstanding his unsatiable avarice and ambition.

  5. Devin Nunes:

    I've met with a lot of conservative Republicans over the last four days, and they are not happy, they want something done and they want something done now because we look like a party that can't govern. And when they understand that over 200 of us were supporting Boehner and were also willing to support [Kevin] McCarthy and also wiling to support Paul Ryan. This is starting to not make sense to our conservative Republican base.

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Translations for govern

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    very close or connected in space or time
    • A. ultimo
    • B. appellative
    • C. proprietary
    • D. contiguous

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