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1 : the body of persons that constitutes the governing authority of a political unit or organization: such as
a : the officials comprising the governing body of a political unit and constituting the organization as an active agency
The government was slow to react to the crisis.
b capitalized : the executive branch of the U.S. federal government
c capitalized : a small group of persons holding simultaneously the principal political executive offices of a nation or other political unit and being responsible for the direction and supervision of public affairs:
(2) : such a group in a parliamentary system constituted by the cabinet or by the ministry
2a : the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it
She works for the federal government.
b : the complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out
b obsolete : the term during which a governing official holds office