English

Definition of govern verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    govern

     verb
    verb
    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//
     
     
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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 opposition party of being unfit to govern.
  2. 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. 3[transitive] govern something (grammar) if a word governs another word or phrase, it affects how that word or phrase is formed or used
  4. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French governer, from Latin gubernare ‘to steer, rule’, from Greek kubernan ‘to steer’.Extra examples The colony was governed directly from Paris. All his decisions had been entirely governed by self-interest. He could not implement his radical policies without a long-term mandate to govern. It is these springs that govern how firm or soft the mattress is. Prices are very much governed by market demand. Special regulations govern the operation of such businesses. The PCP had governed the province for 23 years. The governing New Democracy party dismissed calls for an early election. There were four parties governing in coalition.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: govern