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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Governor \Gov"ern*or\, n. [OE. governor, governour, OF. governeor, F. gouverneur, fr. L. gubernator steersman, ruler, governor. See Govern.] 1. One who governs; especially, one who is invested with the supreme executive authority in a State; a chief ruler or magistrate; as, the governor of Pennsylvania. "The governor of the town." --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. One who has the care or guardianship of a young man; a tutor; a guardian. [1913 Webster] 3. (Naut.) A pilot; a steersman. [R.] [1913 Webster] 4. (Mach.) A contrivance applied to steam engines, water wheels, and other machinery, to maintain nearly uniform speed when the resistances and motive force are variable. Note: The illustration shows a form of governor commonly used for steam engines, in wich a heavy sleeve (a) sliding on a rapidly revolving spindle (b), driven by the engine, is raised or lowered, when the speed varies, by the changing centrifugal force of two balls (c c) to which it is connected by links (d d), the balls being attached to arms (e e) which are jointed to the top of the spindle. The sleeve is connected with the throttle valve or cut-off through a lever (f), and its motion produces a greater supply of steam when the engine runs too slowly and a less supply when too fast. [1913 Webster] Governor cut-off (Steam Engine), a variable cut-off gear in which the governor acts in such a way as to cause the steam to be cut off from entering the cylinder at points of the stroke dependent upon the engine's speed. Hydraulic governor (Mach.), a governor which is operated by the action of a liquid in flowing; a cataract. [1913 Webster]