A government is the system by which a state or community is governed. In the Commonwealth of Nations, the word government is also used more narrowly to refer to the collective group of people that exercises executive authority in a state. This usage is analogous to what is called an "administration" in American English. Furthermore, government is occasionally used in English as a synonym for governance.
In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislators, administrators, and arbitrators. Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state. A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political systems and institutions that make up the organisation of a specific government.
Government of any kind currently affects every human activity in many important ways. For this reason, political scientists generally argue that government should not be studied by itself; but should be studied along with anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, science, and sociology.
From Middle English government, from Old French government (French gouvernement), from Latin gubernatio ("management, government"). Government is a compound formed from the Ancient Greek κυβερνάω (kubernaō, "I steer, drive, guide, pilot") and the Latin -mente, ablative singular of mēns ("mind").