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[guhv-ern-muh nt, ‐er-muh nt] /ˈgʌv ərn mənt, ‐ər mənt/
the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration:
Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society.
the form or system of rule by which a state, community, etc., is governed:
monarchical government; episcopal government.
the governing body of persons in a state, community, etc.; administration.
a branch or service of the supreme authority of a state or nation, taken as representing the whole:
a dam built by the government.
  1. the particular group of persons forming the cabinet at any given time:
    The prime minister has formed a new government.
  2. the parliament along with the cabinet:
    The government has fallen.
direction; control; management; rule:
the government of one's conduct.
a district governed; province.
Grammar. the extablished usage that requires that one word in a sentence should cause another to be of a particular form:
the government of the verb by its subject.
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French governement. See govern, -ment
Related forms
[guhv-ern-men-tl, ‐er-men‐] /ˌgʌv ərnˈmɛn tl, ‐ərˈmɛn‐/ (Show IPA),
governmentally, adverb
countergovernment, noun
nongovernment, noun
nongovernmental, adjective
pro-government, adjective
regovernment, noun
semigovernmental, adjective
semigovernmentally, adverb
subgovernment, noun
undergovernment, noun
ungovernmental, adjective
ungovernmentally, adverb
Usage note
Pronunciation note
Normal phonological processes are reflected in a variety of pronunciations for government. Most commonly, the first
[n] /n/ (Show IPA)
[guhv-ern-muh nt] /ˈgʌv ərn mənt/
assimilates to the immediately following
[m] /m/
with the resulting identical nasal sounds coalescing to give the pronunciation
[guhv-er-muh nt] /ˈgʌv ər mənt/ .
This pronunciation is considered standard and occurs throughout the U.S. For speakers in regions where postvocalic
[r] /r/
is regularly lost, as along the Eastern Seaboard and in the South, the resulting pronunciation is
[guhv-uh-muh nt] /ˈgʌv ə mənt/
or, with loss of the medial unstressed vowel,
[guhv-muh nt] /ˈgʌv mənt/ .
Further assimilation, in which the labiodental
[v] /v/
in anticipation of the bilabial quality of the following
[m] /m/
becomes the bilabial stop
[b] /b/
leads in the South Midland and Southern U.S. to the pronunciation
[guhb-muh nt] /ˈgʌb mənt/
See isn't. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for governmental
  • No governmental action can do more than supplement individual action.
  • Moreover, there must be collective action of kinds distinct from governmental action.
  • Unfortunately, given current industry lobbying and governmental laws, no other medication is available on the market.
  • The primary obstacle is corruption and incompetent governmental leadership.
  • We need more consideration of limited governmental powers based on the rule of law.
  • Simply switch governmental support from oil and coal to renewable power sources.
  • They are frustrated with corporate and governmental irresponsibility.
  • It's not that there's too much governmental regulation, it's that there's too much money involved.
  • He discloses a number of these governmental shenanigans that will make your hair turn gray.
  • Organic is not exempt from any governmental regulatory body.
British Dictionary definitions for governmental


/ˈɡʌvənmənt; ˈɡʌvəmənt/
the exercise of political authority over the actions, affairs, etc, of a political unit, people, etc, as well as the performance of certain functions for this unit or body; the action of governing; political rule and administration
the system or form by which a community, etc, is ruled: tyrannical government
  1. the executive policy-making body of a political unit, community, etc; ministry or administration: yesterday we got a new government
  2. (capital when of a specific country): the British Government
  1. the state and its administration: blame it on the government
  2. (as modifier): a government agency
regulation; direction
(grammar) the determination of the form of one word by another word
Derived Forms
governmental (ˌɡʌvənˈmɛntəl; ˌɡʌvəˈmɛntəl) adjective
governmentally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for governmental

1774, from government + -al (1). Related: Governmentally. A Middle English word in the same sense was gubernatif (late 14c.).



late 14c., "act of governing or ruling;" 1550s, "system by which a thing is governed" (especially a state), from Old French governement (Modern French gouvernement), from governer (see govern). Replaced Middle English governance. Meaning "governing power" in a given place is from 1702.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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