Government vs Sovereign - What's the difference?

government | sovereign |

As nouns the difference between government and sovereign

is that government is the body with the power to make and/or enforce laws to control a country, land area, people or organization while sovereign is a monarch; the ruler of a country.

As an adjective sovereign is

exercising power of rule.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Alternative forms

* (nonstandard) , (l), (l)


  • The body with the power to make and/or enforce laws to control a country, land area, people or organization.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-06, volume=408, issue=8843, page=68, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= The rise of smart beta , passage=Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government -bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.}}
  • The relationship between a word and its dependents
  • A group of people who hold a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in a given territory.
  • The state and its administration viewed as the ruling political power.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-22, volume=407, issue=8841, page=76, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Snakes and ladders , passage=Risk is everywhere. From tabloid headlines insisting that coffee causes cancer (yesterday, of course, it cured it) to stern government warnings about alcohol and driving, the world is teeming with goblins.}}
  • (lb) The management or control of a system.
  • :
  • The tenure of a chief of state.
  • Derived terms

    * big government * branch of government * close enough for government work * federal government * government agent * government bond * government-censored * government cheese * government debt * government house * government issue * government man * government note * government purchases * government security * government stroke * government wharf * governmental * governmentese * governmentwide * head of government * in government * local government * military government * minority government * municipal government * non-government * parliamentary government * petticoat government * puppet government * representative government * seat of government * self-government * shadow government * unitary government

    Usage notes

    In the United States, "government" is considered to be divided into three branches; the legislature (the House of Representatives and the Senate) which makes law, the Administration (under the President) which runs sections of government within the law, and the Courts, which adjudicate on matters of the law. This is a much wider meaning of "government" than exists in other countries where the term "government" means the ruling political force of the prime minister and his/her cabinet ministers (what Americans would call the Administration). In Britain, the administrative organs of the nation are collectively referred to as "the state". In Canada government'' is used in both senses and neither ''state'' nor ''administration are used. Applied to many countries in continental Europe (when using English), the British usage is common.

    See also






    (en adjective)
  • Exercising power of rule.
  • sovereign nation
  • Exceptional in quality.
  • Extremely potent or effective (of a medicine, remedy etc.).
  • * 1590 , (Edmund Spenser), (The Faerie Queene) , III.v:
  • The soueraigne weede betwixt two marbles plaine / She pownded small, and did in peeces bruze, / And then atweene her lilly handes twaine, / Into his wound the iuyce thereof did scruze
  • * (rfdate) Dryden
  • a sovereign remedy
  • * (rfdate) South
  • Such a sovereign influence has this passion upon the regulation of the lives and actions of men.
  • Having supreme, ultimate power.
  • Princely; royal.
  • * (rfdate) Shakespeare
  • most sovereign name
  • Predominant; greatest; utmost; paramount.
  • * (rfdate) Hooker
  • We acknowledge him [God] our sovereign good.

    Derived terms

    * sovereignly


    * autonomous * supreme


    (en noun)
  • A monarch; the ruler of a country.
  • * Jefferson
  • No question is to be made but that the bed of the Mississippi belongs to the sovereign , that is, to the nation.
  • One who is not a subject to a ruler or nation.
  • A gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling but in practice used as a bullion coin.
  • A very large champagne bottle with the capacity of about 25 liters, equivalent to 33? standard bottles.
  • Any butterfly of the tribe , as the (ursula) and the viceroy.
  • Hyponyms

    * (monarch) king, queen

    Derived terms

    * sovereignty

    See also

    * half sovereign/half-sovereign English words not following the I before E except after C rule