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1 : to exercise continuous sovereign authority over
: to control and direct the administration of policy in
2 : to exert a determining or guiding influence in or over [the testator's assets are ed by will substitutes "W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al."]
3 : to serve as a precedent or deciding principle for [the law ing bills of lading] [United States v. Leon s the case at bar]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.