Definition: Governor

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English governour, from Old French gouvreneur, from Latin gubernator, from Ancient Greek κυβερνήτης (kubernḗtēs, “steersman, pilot, guide”), from κυβερνάω (kubernáō, “to steer, to drive, to guide, to act as a pilot”), of disputed origin. Doublet of gubernator.


governor (plural governors, feminine governess)

  1. (politics) The chief executive officer of a first-level division of a country.
  2. The leader of a region or state that is a member of a federation or an empire. In Rome, they were endorsed by the emperor and appointed by the Senate. In the modern United States, they are elected by the people of that state.
  3. A device which regulates or controls some action of a machine through automatic feedback.
  4. (informal) father
  5. (informal) boss, employer
  6. (UK, informal, dated) Term of address to a man; guv'nor.

Derived terms

  • centrifugal governor
  • governor general
  • lieutenant governor

Related terms

  • govern
  • government
  • gubernatorial


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