govern


govern
govern, rule are comparable when they mean to exercise power or authority in controlling or directing another or others, often specifically those persons who comprise a state or nation.
Govern may imply power, whether despotic or constitutional, or authority, whether assumed by force, acquired by inheritance or through election, or granted by due processes of law, but it usually connotes as its end the keeping of the one or ones directed or controlled in a straight course or in smooth operation, where perils are avoided and the good of the individual or of the whole is achieved
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parents who cannot govern their children

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govern one's emotions

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every prince should govern as he would desire to be governed if he were a subject— Temple

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the [Roman] Senate was more than a modern constitutional monarch, reigning and not governing; it had a substantial amount of governing to its share— Buchan

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formulating the principles which should govern the creation of proletarian literature— Glicksberg

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as Matthew Arnold pointed out . . . educated mankind is governed by two passions—one the passion for pure knowledge, the other the passion for being of service or doing good— Eliot

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Rule is not always clearly distinguished from govern
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the territory is ruled by a high commissioner— Americana Annual

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Often it implies the power to lay down laws which shall determine the action of others or to issue commands which must be obeyed; it therefore commonly suggests the exercise of arbitrary power and is not ordinarily used of one that exercises authority over the people as an elected official
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resolved to ruin or to rule the state— Dryden

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the country is ruled but not governed; there is little administration and much lawlessness— Puckle

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it's damnable to have to hurt the people we love—but, after all, we can't let our parents rule our lives— Rose Macaulay

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Analogous words: *conduct, direct, control, manage: *restrain, curb, inhibit

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • govern — gov·ern / gə vərn/ vt 1: to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; esp: to control and direct the administration of policy in 2: to exert a determining or guiding influence in or over the testator s assets are govern ed by will substitutes …   Law dictionary

  • Govern — Gov ern, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Governed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Governing}.] [OF. governer, F. gouverner, fr. L. gubernare to steer, pilot, govern, Gr. kyberna^n. Cf. {Gubernatorial}.] 1. To direct and control, as the actions or conduct of men, either… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • govern — gov‧ern [ˈgʌvən ǁ ərn] verb 1. [intransitive, transitive] to officially and legally run a country and make decisions about taxes, laws, public services etc: • the politicians who govern the country • A small military elite has been governing for… …   Financial and business terms

  • govern — [guv′ərn] vt. [ME governen < OFr gouverner < L gubernare, to pilot (a ship), direct, guide < Gr kybernan, to steer, govern, prob. of non IE orig.] 1. to exercise authority over; rule, administer, direct, control, manage, etc. 2. to… …   English World dictionary

  • govern — late 13c., from O.Fr. governer (11c., Mod.Fr. gouverner) govern, from L. gubernare to direct, rule, guide, govern (Cf. Sp. gobernar, It. governare), originally to steer, a nautical borrowing from Gk. kybernan to steer or pilot a ship, direct (the …   Etymology dictionary

  • govern — [v1] take control; rule administer, assume command, be in power, be in the driver’s seat*, call the shots*, call the signals*, captain*, carry out, command, conduct, control, dictate, direct, execute, exercise authority, guide, head, head up,… …   New thesaurus

  • Govern — Gov ern, v. i. To exercise authority; to administer the laws; to have the control. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • govern — ► VERB 1) conduct the policy and affairs of (a state, organization, or people). 2) control or influence. 3) constitute a rule, standard, or principle for. 4) Grammar (of a word) require that (another word or group of words) be in a particular… …   English terms dictionary

  • govern — verb ADVERB ▪ effectively, well ▪ directly ▪ The colony was governed directly from Paris. VERB + GOVERN ▪ be fit to, be unfit …   Collocations dictionary

  • govern */*/ — UK [ˈɡʌvə(r)n] / US [ˈɡʌvərn] verb Word forms govern : present tense I/you/we/they govern he/she/it governs present participle governing past tense governed past participle governed 1) [intransitive/transitive] to control and manage an area, city …   English dictionary


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