American English

Definition of govern verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they govern
    he / she / it governs
    past simple governed
    -ing form governing
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] govern (something) to legally control a country or its people and be responsible for introducing new laws, organizing public services, etc. The country is governed by elected representatives of the people. He accused the other candidate of being unfit to govern.
  2. 2[transitive, often passive] govern something to control or influence someone or something or how something happens, functions, etc. Prices are governed by market demand. All his decisions have been entirely governed by self-interest. We need changes in the law governing school attendance.
  3. 3[transitive] govern something (grammar) if a word governs another word or phrase, it affects how that word or phrase is formed or used
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: govern