- 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 opposition party of being unfit to govern.
- 2[transitive, often passive] govern something to control or influence somebody/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[transitive] govern something (grammar) if a word governs another word or phrase, it affects how that word or phrase is formed or used Word Origin Middle English: from Old French governer, from Latin gubernare
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BrE BrE//ˈɡʌvn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡʌvərn//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they govern
BrE BrE//ˈɡʌvn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡʌvərn//he / she / it governs
BrE BrE//ˈɡʌvnz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡʌvərnz//past simple governed
BrE BrE//ˈɡʌvnd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡʌvərnd//past participle governed
BrE BrE//ˈɡʌvnd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡʌvərnd//-ing form governing
BrE BrE//ˈɡʌvnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡʌvərnɪŋ//