- Govern is defined as to control, guide or manage.
An example of govern is a supervisor telling their employees what to do.
- to exercise authority over; rule, administer, direct, control, manage, etc.
- to influence the action or conduct of; guide; sway: to govern public opinion
- to hold in check; restrain; curb: to govern one's temper
- to regulate the speed of (an automobile, etc.) by means of a governor
- to be a rule or law for; determine: the scientific principles governing a phenomenon
- Gram.: used as of prepositions with noun cases, esp. in highly inflected languages, and, in English, more loosely, of any interrelationship between forms, as that between a preposition and a following pronoun
- to require (a word) to be in a certain case or mood
- to require (a particular case or mood)
Origin: Middle English governen from Old French gouverner from Classical Latin gubernare, to pilot (a ship), direct, guide from Glassical Greek kybernan, to steer, govern, probably of non-IE origin, originally
- governable adjective
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb gov·erned, gov·ern·ing, gov·erns verb, transitive
- To make and administer the public policy and affairs of; exercise sovereign authority in.
- To control the speed or magnitude of; regulate: a valve that governs fuel intake.
- To control the actions or behavior of: Govern yourselves like civilized people.
- To keep under control; restrain: a student who could not govern his impulses.
- To exercise a deciding or determining influence on: Chance usually governs the outcome of the game.
- Grammar To require (a specific morphological form) of accompanying words.
- To exercise political authority.
- To have or exercise a determining influence.
Origin: Middle English governen, from Old French governer, from Latin gubernāre, from Greek kubernān.
- govˈern·a·ble adjective