Definition of government noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɡʌvənmənt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡʌvərnmənt//
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  1. 1  [countable + singular or plural verb] (also the Government) (abbreviation govt) the group of people who are responsible for controlling a country or a state to lead/form a government the last Conservative government the government of the day Foreign governments have been consulted about this decision. She has resigned from the Government. The Government has/have been considering further tax cuts. government policies/officials/ministers a government department/agency/grant government expenditure/intervention CollocationsPoliticsPower create/​form/​be the leader of a political party gain/​take/​win/​lose/​regain control of Congress start/​spark/​lead/​be on the brink of a revolution be engaged/​locked in an internal power struggle lead/​form a rival/​breakaway faction seize/​take control of the government/​power bring down/​overthrow/​topple the government/​president/​regime abolish/​overthrow/​restore the monarchy establish/​install a military dictatorship/​a stable government be forced/​removed/​driven from office/​power resign/​step down as party leader/​an MP/​president/​prime minister enter/​retire from/​return to political lifePolitical debate spark/​provoke a heated/​hot/​intense/​lively debate engage in/​participate in/​contribute to (the) political/​public debate (on/​over something) get involved in/​feel excluded from the political process launch/​start/​lead/​spearhead a campaign/​movement join/​be linked with the peace/​anti-war/​feminist/​civil rights movement criticize/​speak out against/​challenge/​support the government lobby/​put pressure on the government (to do something) come under fire/​pressure from opposition partiesPolicy call for/​demand/​propose/​push for/​advocate democratic/​political/​land reform(s) formulate/​implement domestic economic policy change/​influence/​shape/​have an impact on government/​economic/​public policy be consistent with/​be in line with/​go against/​be opposed to government policy reform/​restructure/​modernize the tax system privatize/​improve/​deliver/​make cuts in public services invest (heavily) in/​spend something on schools/​education/​public services/(the) infrastructure nationalize the banks/​the oil industry promise/​propose/​deliver/​give ($80 billion in/​significant/​substantial/​massive) tax cuts a/​the budget is approved/ (especially North American English) passed by parliament/​congressMaking laws have a majority in/​have seats in Parliament/​Congress/​the Senate propose/​sponsor a bill/​legislation/​a resolution introduce/​bring in/​draw up/​draft/​adopt/​pass a bill/​a law/​legislation/​measures amend/​repeal an act/​a law/​legislation veto/​vote against/​oppose a bill/​legislation/​a measure/​a proposal/​a resolution get/​require/​be decided by a majority vote Culturedepartments of governmentThe government of the United Kingdom, formally called Her/​His Majesty's Government, consists of a group of ministers led by the prime minister. Ministers are attached to specialist departments which carry out government policy. Ministers of the Crown, the most senior ministers, are appointed by the queen or king on the recommendation of the prime minister. Other ministers are appointed directly by the prime minister. All ministers sit in Parliament, most of them in the House of Commons.The senior minister in each department is generally called the Secretary of State, e.g. the Secretary of State for Health. The minister in charge of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is called the Foreign Secretary. The Home Secretary is in charge of the Home Office. The finance minister is known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer and is head of the Treasury. Ministers in charge of departments are usually members of the Cabinet. The prime minister may also appoint a Minister without Portfolio (= without departmental responsibilities) to take on special duties.A Secretary of State is usually supported by several Ministers of State, who each have a specific area of responsibility, and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State, often called junior ministers.Departments are run by civil servants who are not allowed to show favour to any political party. Unlike ministers, they do not have to leave their jobs when the government changes. Many departments are assisted by special groups that give advice and do research. A change of government does not necessarily affect the number and general organization of departments. A new government may, however, create new departments or change the structure of existing ones.Some departments, e.g. the Ministry of Defence, have responsibility for the whole of the United Kingdom. Others cover only part and the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly have responsibility for the corresponding areas in Scotland and Wales. (note at devolution)The leader of the main opposition party appoints a shadow cabinet of shadow ministers. Each is responsible for speaking about an area of government.In the US the federal government has 15 departments. These, together with the president and various government agencies, make up the executive branch of the government and are responsible for its day-to-day operation.The people in charge of government departments are called secretaries. For example, the Department of Agriculture is led by the Secretary of Agriculture. The head of the State Department, the department that deals with US foreign policy, is called the Secretary of State. The President decides who will be the head of each department. Not all secretaries are well known: many people know the name of the Secretary of State, but few know the Secretary of Agriculture.Most of the people working in US government departments are civil servants whose jobs do not depend on political influence. In this way each department has a base of employees with a lot of knowledge and experience, whose careers last longer than a single political administration. Departments may be reorganized according to what issues seem important at a particular time but this kind of change does not happen very often.The heads of departments form a group called the Cabinet, which meets regularly with the President. The President is not required to accept their advice, but may choose to do so. Wordfinderabdicate, accede, crown, king, government, monarch, throne, reign, royal, succession
  2. 2  [uncountable] a particular system or method of controlling a country coalition/communist/democratic/totalitarian, etc. government Democratic government has now replaced military rule. central/federal government
  3. 3  [uncountable] the activity or the manner of controlling a country strong government The Democrats are now in government in the US. see also big government Wordfindercabinet, checks and balances, constitution, federal, government, minister, the Opposition, parliament, politics, system
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French governement, from governer, from Latin gubernare ‘to steer, rule’, from Greek kubernan ‘to steer’.Extra examples A new government was formed in September of that year. A puppet government was installed as the occupying forces withdrew. According to government sources, two people died in the incident. It is time we had a change of government. On May 23 a coalition government took office. The former minister was relieved of his post in last month’s extensive government reshuffle. The government announced the cancellation of the dam project. The group aims to overthrow the military government. The hospital has been hit by government cuts. The present government was elected last year. The president dissolved the assembly and swore in an interim government. The president has been meeting members of the French government. The report on world poverty calls for urgent action from Western governments. The socialists won 42% of the seats and formed a minority government. This crisis could bring down the British government. This was a decision taken by the government of the day. We believe in low taxation and small government. We need strong government to take the country through this crisis. a national emergency that could cause the government to fall a new government headed by a former military leader a problem facing whichever party is in government calls for government intervention in the dispute measures that were introduced under the last government the country’s new Communist government Similar measures are being considered by the governments of El Salvador and Panama. The Nationalists had been in government for most of the 1980s. The Prime Minister was keen to emphasize his government’s commitment to the agreement. The government has been considering further tax cuts. The interests of the state should not be confused with the interests of the government of the day. The law empowers federal government to set standards which apply to all states. The two men got into a heated debate about the government of the disputed province. There are bound to be cuts in government expenditure. This legislation was passed under the last Conservative government.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: government