American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


GOV'ERNMENT, noun Direction; regulation. These precepts will serve for the government of our conduct.

1. Control; restraint. Men are apt to neglect the government of their temper and passions.

2. The exercise of authority; direction and restraint exercised over the actions of men in communities, societies or states; the administration of public affairs, according to established constitution, laws and usages, or by arbitrary edicts. Prussia rose to importance under the government of Frederick II.

3. The exercise of authority by a parent or householder. Children are often ruined by a neglect of government in parents.

Let family government be like that of our heavenly Father, mild, gentle and affectionate.

4. The system of polity in a state; that form of fundamental rules and principles by which a nation or state is governed, or by which individual members of a body politic are to regulate their social actions; a constitution, either written or unwritten, by which the rights and duties of citizens and public officers are prescribed and defined; as a monarchial government or a republican government

Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without the pretence of miracle or mystery, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

5. An empire, kingdom or state; any territory over which the right of sovereignty is extended.

6. The right of governing or administering the laws. The king of England vested the government of Ireland in the lord lieutenant.

7. The persons or council which administer the laws of a kingdom or state; executive power.

8. Manageableness; compliance; obsequiousness.

9. Regularity of behavior. [Not in use.]

10. Management of the limbs or body. [Not in use.]

11. In grammar, the influence of a word in regard to construction, as when established usage required that one word should cause another to be in a particular case or mode.