Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

government - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun government pronunciation in British English /ˈɡʌvə(r)nmənt/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] the people who control a country, region, or town and make decisions about its laws and taxes: followed by a singular or plural verb

    The government has announced plans to raise the minimum wage next year.

    a democratically elected government

    under a government (=during the government of a particular party):

    Under the Conservative government things were very different.

    1. a.
      the members of the main political party in a parliament, or the members of the cabinet (=the group of politicians with the most important jobs) in a system with a parliament
      form a government (=choose the people who will have the most important jobs in the government):

      The party with an overall majority is then asked to form a government.

      coalition government (=in which members of different parties have important jobs in the government):

      The Social Democrat Party is threatening to leave the coalition government.

    2. b.
      [only before noun] relating to a government, especially a national government

      government employees

  2. 2
    [uncountable] the process, method, or effects of governing

    I’m not sure these reforms will necessarily lead to more effective government.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play