From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. One who governs; especially, one who is invested with the supreme executive authority in a State; a chief ruler or magistrate; as, the governor of Pennsylvania. The governor of the town.

2. One who has the care or guardianship of a young man; a tutor; a guardian.

3. A pilot; a steersman.

4. (Science: machinery) a contrivance applied to steam engines, water wheels, and other machinery, to maintain nearly uniform speed when the resistances and motive force are variable.

The illustration shows a form of governor commonly used for steam engines, in wich a heavy sleeve (a) sliding on a rapidly revolving spindle (b), driven by the engine, is raised or lowered, when the speed varies, by the changing centrifugal force of two balls (c c) to which it is connected by links (d d), the balls being attached to arms (e e) which are jointed to the top of the spindle. The sleeve is connected with the throttle valve or cut-off through a lever (f), and its motion produces a greater supply of steam when the engine runs too slowly and a less supply when too fast. Governor cut-off, a governor which is operated by the action of a liquid in flowing; a cataract.

Origin: oe. Governor, governour, OF. Governeor, f. Gouverneur, fr. L. Gubernator steersman, ruler, governor. See Govern.