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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Government \Gov"ern*ment\, n. [F. gouvernement. See Govern.] 1. The act of governing; the exercise of authority; the administration of laws; control; direction; regulation; as, civil, church, or family government. [1913 Webster] 2. The mode of governing; the system of polity in a state; the established form of law. [1913 Webster] That free government which we have so dearly purchased, free commonwealth. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 3. The right or power of governing; authority. [1913 Webster] I here resign my government to thee. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 4. The person or persons authorized to administer the laws; the ruling power; the administration. [1913 Webster] When we, in England, speak of the government, we generally understand the ministers of the crown for the time being. --Mozley & W. [1913 Webster] 5. The body politic governed by one authority; a state; as, the governments of Europe. [1913 Webster] 6. Management of the limbs or body. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 7. (Gram.) The influence of a word in regard to construction, requiring that another word should be in a particular case. [1913 Webster]