English Synonyms and Antonyms
Govern carries the idea of authoritative administration or some exercise of authority that is at once effective and continuous; control is effective, but may be momentary or occasional. One controls what he holds or can hold at will absolutely in check; as, a skilful horseman controls a spirited horse; a person controls his temper; we say to one who is excited, "control yourself." A person commands another when he has, or claims, the right to make that other do his will, with power of inflicting penalty if not obeyed; he controls another whom he can effectually prevent from doing anything contrary to his will; he governs one whom he actually does cause, regularly or constantly, to obey his will; a parent may command a child whom he can not govern or control. The best teachers are not greatly prone to command, but govern or control their pupils largely by other means. Command is, however, often used in the sense of securing, as well as requiring, submission or obedience, as when we speak of a commanding influence; a man commands the situation when he can shape events as he pleases; a fortress commands the region when no enemy can pass against its resistance. Govern implies the exercise of knowledge and judgment as well as power. To rule is more absolute and autocratic than to govern; to sway is to move by quiet but effectual influence; to mold is not only to influence feeling and action, but to shape character; to manage is to secure by skilful contrivance the doing of one's will by those whom one can not directly control; a wise mother, by gentle means, sways the feelings and molds the lives of her children; to be able to manage servants is an important element of good housekeeping. The word reign, once so absolute, now simply denotes that one holds the official station of sovereign in a monarchy, with or without effective power; the Queen of England reigns; the Czar of Russia both reigns and rules.
command, control, curb, direct, govern, influence, manage, mold, reign, restrain, rule, sway
be in subjection, be subject, comply, obey, submit, yield