Definition of "govern" []

  • To make and administer the public policy and affairs of; exercise sovereign authority in. (verb-transitive)
  • To control the speed or magnitude of; regulate: a valve that governs fuel intake. (verb-transitive)
  • To control the actions or behavior of: Govern yourselves like civilized people. (verb-transitive)
  • To keep under control; restrain: a student who could not govern his impulses. (verb-transitive)
  • To exercise a deciding or determining influence on: Chance usually governs the outcome of the game. (verb-transitive)
  • To direct and control the actions, affairs, policies, functions, etc, of (a political unit, organization, nation, etc); rule (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To exercise restraint over; regulate or direct (verb)
  • To be a predominant influence on (something); decide or determine (something) (verb)
  • To control the speed of (an engine, machine, etc) using a governor (verb)
  • To control the rate of flow of (a fluid) by using an automatic valve (verb)
  • (of a word) to determine the inflection of (another word) (verb) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "govern" in a sentence
  • "Here is the authority, from God himself, to hold men and women, and their increase, in slavery, and to transmit them as property forever; here is plenary power to govern them, whatever measure of severity it may require; provided only, that _to govern_, be the object in exercising it."
  • "A wise person once said that "to govern is to choose.""
  • "The remedy: govern from the center, try even harder to be bi-partisan, and stop criticizing Wall Street and bring some CEOs onto the White House team."