late 14c., "management," from L. administrationem (nom. administratio), noun of action from administratus, pp. of administrare (see administer). Meaning "the government" is attested from 1731 in British usage. Meaning "a U.S. president's period in office" is first recorded 1796 in writings of George Washington. Meaning "management of a dead person's estate" is from 1530s.