[guhv-ern-men-tl-iz-uh m, -er-men-] /ˌgʌv ərnˈmɛn tlˌɪz əm, -ərˈmɛn-/

the trend toward expansion of the government’s role, range of activities, or power.

“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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  • Governmentally

    [guhv-ern-muh nt, ‐er-muh nt] /ˈgʌv ərn mənt, ‐ər mənt/ noun 1. the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration: Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society. 2. the form or […]

  • Governmentese

    [guhv-ern-muh n-teez, -tees, -er-muh n-] /ˌgʌv ərn mənˈtiz, -ˈtis, -ər mən-/ noun 1. complicated or obscurantist language thought to be characteristic of bureaucratic statements; officialese.

  • Government-house

    noun 1. the official residence of a colonial governor, as in a British Commonwealth country. noun 1. the official residence of a representative of the British Crown (such as a Canadian Lieutenant-Governor or an Australian Governor General) in a state or province that recognizes the British sovereign as Head of the Commonwealth

  • Government-in-exile

    [guhv-ern-muh nt-in-eg-zahyl, -ek-sahyl, -er-muh nt-] /ˈgʌv ərn mənt ɪnˈɛg zaɪl, -ˈɛk saɪl, -ər mənt-/ noun 1. a government temporarily moved to or formed in a foreign land by exiles who hope to establish that government in their native country after its liberation.

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