Government refers to the legislators, administrators
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

, and arbitrators
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 in the administrative bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

 who control a state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 at a given time, and to the system of government
Form of government
A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political institutions by which a government of a state is organized. Synonyms include "regime type" and "system of government".-Empirical and conceptual problems:...

 by which they are organized. Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 of the state.

The word government is derived from the Latin verb gubernare, an infinitive meaning "to govern" or "to manage".

Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 are served by a continuous succession of different governments.

Government, in the last analysis, is organized opinion. Where there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government, which sooner or later becomes autocratic government.

William Lyon Mackenzie King, Message of the Carillon (1927)

"Do you know who is responsible?" "Why of course, it's the government!" "Jill, 'the government' is several million people."

Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.

People should not be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.

V in V for Vendetta (film)|V for Vendetta (2006)

What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

James Madison, Federalist Papers No. 51