See also: Govern and govèrn



From Middle English governen, governe, from Anglo-Norman and Old French governer, guverner, from Latin gubernō, gubernāre, from Ancient Greek κυβερνάω (kubernáō, I steer, drive, govern)



govern (third-person singular simple present governs, present participle governing, simple past and past participle governed)

  1. (transitive) To make and administer the public policy and affairs of; to exercise sovereign authority in.
    The old king governed the land wisely.
  2. (transitive) To control the actions or behavior of; to keep under control; to restrain.
    Govern yourselves like civilized people.
    a student who could not govern his impulses
    • (Can we date this quote by Justin Deschamps and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Find the strength, courage, and discipline to govern yourself or be governed by someone else.
  3. (transitive) To exercise a deciding or determining influence on.
    Chance governs the outcome of many card games.
  4. (transitive) To control the speed, flow etc. of; to regulate.
    a valve that governs fuel intake
  5. (intransitive) To exercise political authority; to run a government.
  6. (intransitive) To have or exercise a determining influence.
  7. (transitive, grammar) To require that a certain preposition, grammatical case, etc. be used with a word; sometimes used synonymously with collocate.

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



From the verb governar, or possibly from Late Latin gubernus or gubernius[1], from Latin gubernum or gubernō.



govern m (plural governs)

  1. government

Related termsEdit


  1. ^ “govern” in Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana, Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana.

Further readingEdit