Your government is the system of people, laws, and officials that define and control the country that you live in. The U.S. government, for example, is a representative democracy with three branches.

There are many different kinds of government, but they all do essentially the same thing: "govern" or oversee the rules, regulations, and interactions of the people who live under them. For the most part, a government is concerned with public life, though many of the laws that a government like ours establishes and enforces can regulate what happens in private life, too. If you work for the government, you're in public life. If you work for a company, you're in the private sector.

Definitions of government
  1. noun
    (government) the system or form by which a community or other political unit is governed
    “tyrannical government
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    type of:
    system, system of rules
    a complex of methods or rules governing behavior
  2. noun
    the organization that is the governing authority of a political unit
    “the government reduced taxes”
    synonyms: authorities, regime
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    authoritarian regime, authoritarian state
    a government that concentrates political power in an authority not responsible to the people
    a government that is administered primarily by bureaus that are staffed with nonelective officials
    ancien regime
    a political and social system that no longer governs (especially the system that existed in France before the French Revolution)
    court, royal court
    the sovereign and his advisers who are the governing power of a state
    Downing Street
    the British government
    a group of countries under a single authority
    federal government
    a government with strong central powers
    a temporary government moved to or formed in a foreign land by exiles who hope to rule when their country is liberated
    local government
    the government of a local area
    military government, stratocracy
    government by the military and an army
    the governing group of a kingdom
    papacy, pontificate
    the government of the Roman Catholic Church
    pupet regime, puppet government, puppet state
    a government that is appointed by and whose affairs are directed by an outside authority that may impose hardships on those governed
    the group of people comprising the government of a sovereign state
    state government
    the government of a state in the United States
    totalitarian state, totalitation regime
    a government that subordinates the individual to the state and strictly controls all aspects of life by coercive measures
    Court of Saint James's
    the British royal court
    Porte, Sublime Porte
    the Ottoman court in Constantinople
    the government of the Soviet Union
    welfare state
    a government that undertakes responsibility for the welfare of its citizens through programs in public health and public housing and pensions and unemployment compensation etc.
    municipal government
    the government of a municipality
    town meeting
    government of a town by an assembly of the qualified voters
    U.S., U.S. government, US Government, United States, United States government
    the executive and legislative and judicial branches of the federal government of the United States
    type of:
    a politically organized unit
  3. noun
    the act of governing; exercising authority
    “he had considerable experience of government
    synonyms: administration, governance, governing, government activity
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    misgovernment, misrule
    government that is inefficient or dishonest
    lawmaking, legislating, legislation
    the act of making or enacting laws
    trust busting
    (law) government activities seeking to dissolve corporate trusts and monopolies (especially under the United States antitrust laws)
    criminalisation, criminalization
    legislation that makes something illegal
    decriminalisation, decriminalization
    legislation that makes something legal that was formerly illegal
    enactment, passage
    the passing of a law by a legislative body
    type of:
    social control
    control exerted (actively or passively) by group action
  4. noun
    the study of government of states and other political units
    synonyms: political science, politics
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    the study of the effects of economic geography on the powers of the state
    practical politics, realpolitik
    politics based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations
    the branch of geopolitics dealing with strategy
    type of:
    social science
    the branch of science that studies society and the relationships of individual within a society
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