A government means a body which has the authority to make laws, and ensure that they are followed by members of society. In other words, the government looks after the day to day affairs of the country. A strong government usually results in the country being relatively stable and progressing in all fields of life.
The word government is derived from the Greek language. In ancient Greece, the word 'kubernan' meant 'to steer'. The word was adapted into various languages in different forms over the years, and has given us the word government, amongst other words in English. Incidentally, it was the Greeks who introduced to us the concept of democracy in their effort to 'steer' their state properly.
Governments carry out numerous functions. Collection of taxes, creation of the necessary infrastructure in the form of roads and railways and formulation of policies are just few in the never ending list. Most countries in the world today are republics, and some of them choose to specify the type of Republic that they are. Egypt, for example, is an Arab republic, while Germany is a Federal republic. We have come a long way from the times when feudalism and dictatorship were widely prevalent. Unlike the past when one man used to pull all the strings disregarding public opinion, governments today give their citizens a platform to air their grievances, and take their suggestions into consideration before making decisions.