synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of governor in English

English Online Dictionary. What means governor‎? What does governor mean?


Alternative forms

  • gouernour, gouvernor, gouvernour, governer, governour (all obsolete)
  • guvnah, guvnuh (both informal)


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. By surface analysis, govern +‎ -or. Doublet of gubernator. Doublet of cybernetics and Kubernetes.


  • (UK, non-rhotic) IPA(key): /ˈɡʌv(ə)nə(ɹ)/
  • (US, rhotic) IPA(key): /ˈɡʌvɚnɚ/
  • (US, non-rhotic) IPA(key): /ˈɡʌvənə(ɹ)/
  • (US, rhotic, r-dissimilation) IPA(key): /ˈɡʌvənɚ/


governor (plural governors, feminine governess)

  1. (politics) The chief executive officer of a first-level division of a country.
    • 1999, Karen O'Connor, The essentials of American government: continuity and change, p 17
      Younger voters are more libertarian in political philosophy than older voters and are credited with the success of libertarian governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota
  2. A device which regulates or controls some action of a machine through automatic feedback.
  3. A member of a decision-making for an organization or entity (including some public agencies) similar to or equivalent to a board of directors (used especially for banks); a member of the board of governors.
    • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, (November 6, 2009)
      The seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
  4. (informal) Father.
  5. (informal) Boss; employer; gaffer.
  6. (UK, informal, dated) Term of address to a man; guv'nor.
  7. (grammar) A constituent of a phrase that governs another.
  8. (dated) One who has the care or guardianship of a young man; a tutor; a guardian.
  9. (nautical) A pilot; a steersman.


  • (head of a province): viceroy (of large divisions of a kingdom or empire); proconsul (of Roman regions, historical); bailiff, seneschal, intendant (of French regions, historical); tao tai (obsolete), circuit intendant, intendant, daotai (of Chinese regions, historical); provost (obsolete); gubernator (now humorous)

Derived terms

Related terms



Middle English



  1. Alternative form of governour

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.