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government (n.)

late 14c., "act of governing or ruling;" 1550s, "system by which a thing is governed" (especially a state), from Old French governement "control, direction, administration" (Modern French gouvernement), from governer "to steer, be at the helm of; govern, rule, command, direct," from Latin gubernare "to direct, rule, guide, govern," originally "to steer, to pilot"(see govern). Meaning "governing power" in a given place is from 1702. Compare governance.

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self-government (n.)
1734, of persons; 1798, of states, from self- + government. Related: Self-governing (1680s).
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governmental (adj.)
1744, from government + -al (1). Related: Governmentally. A Middle English word in the same sense was gubernatif (late 14c.).
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G-man (n.)
"FBI agent," 1930, shortening of government man; used earlier in an Irish context (1917), but the abbreviation is perhaps the same one.
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misgovernment (n.)

late 14c., "want of self-restraint, misbehavior" (a sense now obsolete), from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + government. Meaning "bad government, management, or administration of public or private affairs" is from 1590s.

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governmentalism (n.)

"disposition to enlarge the power and scope of the government," 1841, from governmental + -ism; originally in reference to France and perhaps from French.

Besides this, it is a well known fact, one made sufficiently clear by the history of the United States, that the less governmentalism there is in a country, the better it is for the citizens as to their material interests. A very complicated governmental apparatus, when, especially, it is useless, is and can be only hurtful to the interests of the mass of the people. [Amedee H. Simonin, "Resumption of Specie Payments," 1868]

Related: Governmentalist.

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aristarchy (n.)
"government by the best men; body of worthies constituting a government," 1889, from Greek aristarkhia, from aristos "best" (see aristo-) + -arkhia "government" (see -archy).
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stratocracy (n.)
"government by the army, military government," 1650s, from Greek stratos "army, encamped army," literally "that which is spread out" (from PIE root *stere- "to spread"), + -cracy "rule or government by."
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neocracy (n.)

"government by new or inexperienced officials," 1844; see neo- "new" + -cracy "rule or government by."

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constitutionalism (n.)

1832, "the theory or principle of a constitutional system of government;" occasionally also "constitutionality, adherence to constitutional government;" from constitutional (adj.) + -ism. Related: Constitutionalist (1766).

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