Does the word "government" in English mean the courts as well?

I could not find an answer in online dictionaries. Why it is considered general reference?

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    It's not a question about dictionary meanings, it's a question about government structure. Ask at history.SE. – Mitch Sep 25 '12 at 15:23
  • @Mitch lol, what about government structure is there? – Anixx Sep 25 '12 at 15:34
  • more than here. – Mitch Sep 25 '12 at 17:44
  • The question should read, "Why was this question closed?" This is EL&U after all. – Mr Lister Sep 30 '12 at 17:04

In some English-speaking countries (for example the US) "the government" always includes the courts, since the US constitution specifies that the courts are one of the three branches of the government. That is a legal determination, though, not a linguistic one.

And in other English-speaking countries, "the government" does not include the courts in certain contexts - in particular, "the government" in the UK usually refers to the currently ruling party and its ministers. In other English-speaking countries there might be yet other answers, depending on the political or legal system. Your question cannot be answered on a language basis, only a political or legal basis, and can be found in any basic reference on the particular country in question.

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  • It seems to me that the US constitution uses the word "government" because the word "state" which is used in other countries to refer all the branches of power, is already occupied by sub-national entities. Am I true? – Anixx Sep 26 '12 at 13:21
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    @Anixx: same problem. Your question has nothing to do with the English language (much less EL&U the site). – Tim Lymington Oct 2 '12 at 17:40

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