AskDefine | Define govern

Dictionary Definition



1 bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage; impose regulations; "We cannot regulate the way people dress"; "This town likes to regulate" [syn: regulate, regularize, regularise, order] [ant: deregulate]
2 direct or strongly influence the behavior of; "His belief in God governs his conduct"
3 exercise authority over; as of nations; "Who is governing the country now?" [syn: rule]
4 require to be in a certain grammatical case, voice, or mood; "most transitive verbs govern the accusative case in German"

User Contributed Dictionary



guberno, from κυβερνάω



  1. To make and administer the public policy and affairs of; to exercise sovereign authority in.
  2. 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.
  3. To exercise a deciding or determining influence on.
    Chance usually governs the outcome of the game.
  4. To control the speed, flow etc. of; to regulate.
    a valve that governs fuel intake.
  5. To exercise political authority; to run a government.
  6. To have or exercise a determining influence.


to exercise sovereign authority in
to control the actions of
to exercise a determining influence on
  • Czech: řídit
  • Danish: bestemme
  • Finnish: määrätä
  • German: lenken
to control the speed or magnitude of
  • Czech: ovládat (used with valve)
  • Danish: styre, lede
  • Finnish: säätää
  • German: reglen
(intr.) to exercise political authority
  • Czech: vládnout
  • Danish: regere, styre
  • Finnish: hallita
  • German: regieren
(intr.) to have a determining influence
  • Danish: herske
  • Finnish: määrätä
  • German: regeln

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

administer, administrate, arrest, be master, be responsible for, boss, bridle, call the shots, call the signals, captain, carry authority, carry on, carry out, chair, check, command, conduct, constrain, contain, control, cool, cool off, crack the whip, curb, curtail, decelerate, decide, determine, direct, discipline, dispose, dominate, dompt, engineer, enjoin, execute, guard, guide, handle, have clout, have power, have the power, have the right, have the say, head, head up, hinder, hold, hold at bay, hold back, hold fast, hold in, hold in check, hold in leash, hold the reins, hold up, inhibit, keep, keep back, keep from, keep in, keep in check, keep under control, lay under restraint, lead, lead on, look after, make the rules, manage, maneuver, manipulate, master, mastermind, officer, order, overrule, oversee, pilot, possess authority, prescribe, preside over, prohibit, pull, pull in, pull the strings, quarterback, regulate, reign, rein, rein in, render, repress, restrain, retard, retrench, rule, run, set back, shepherd, skipper, slow down, snub, stand over, steer, straiten, subdue, superintend, supervise, suppress, sway, take command, take the lead, wear the crown, wear the pants, wield authority, withhold
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