A collection of some definitions that might be useful to keep the topic bounded. (WLA)


govern vt. [ME. governen < OFr. gouverner < L. gubernare, to pilot (a ship), direct, guide < Gr. kybernan, to steer, govern]

  1. to exercise authority over; rule, administer, direct, control, manage, etc.
  2. to influence the action or conduct of; guide; sway [to govern public opinion]
  3. to hold in check; restrain; curb [to govern one's temper]
  4. to regulate the speed of (an automobile, etc.) by means of a governer
  5. to be a rule or law for; determine [the scientific principles governing a phenomenon]
  6. Gram. a) to require (a word) to be in a particular case or mood b) to require (a particular case or mood) In English grammar, the term may apply to any interrelationship between forms, as to that between a preposition and a following pronoun
    --vi. to exercise the function of governing; rule -- govern-a-ble adj.

SYN. -- govern implies the exercise of authority in controlling the actions of the members of a body politic and directing the affairs of state, and generally connotes as its purpose the maintenance of public order and the promotion of the common welfare; rule now usually signifies the exercise of arbitrary or autocratic power; administer implies the orderly management of governmental affairs by executive officials.

governance n. [M.E. < OFr. gouvernance < M.L. gubernantia < prp. of L. gubernare: see GOVERN]
the act, manner, function, or power of government

government n. [OFr. governement: see GOVERN & -MENT]

  1. a) the exercise of authority over a state, district, organization, institution, etc.; direction; control; rule; management
    b) the right, function, or power of governing
  2. a) a system of ruling, controlling, etc.
    b) an established system of political administration by which a nation, state, district, etc. is governed
    c) the study of such systems; political science
  3. all the people or agencies that administer or control the affairs of a nation, state, institution, etc.; administration
  4. [often G-] the executive or administrative branch of government of a particular nation as constituted by the political party or coalition in power
  5. a governed territory
  6. Gram. the influence of one word over the case or mood of another

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