Black’s Law 8th Edition: government. 1. The structure of principles and rules determining how a state or organization is regulated. 2. The sovereign power in a nation or state. 3. An organization through which a body of people exercises political authority; the machinery by which sovereign power is expressed <the Canadian government>. • In this sense, the term refers collectively to the political organs of a country regardless of their function or level, and regardless of the subject matter they deal with. Cf. NATION; STATE.