comptroller

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noun comp·trol·ler \kən-ˈtrō-lər, ˈkäm(p)-ˌtrō-, käm(p)-ˈtrō-\

Definition of comptroller

  1. 1 :  a royal-household official who examines and supervises expenditures

  2. 2 :  a public official who audits government accounts and sometimes certifies expenditures

  3. 3 :  controller 1c

comptrollership

play \kən-ˈtrō-lər-ˌship, ˈkäm(p)-ˌtrō-, käm(p)-ˈtrō-\ noun

comptroller was our Word of the Day on 02/06/2010. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of comptroller from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comptroller'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

If you think "comptroller" looks like a mistaken spelling of "controller," you're partially right. Today, "comptroller" is an established word that shares one of its meanings (sense 3) with "controller." The term did originate as a misspelling, however. Around the 15th century, Middle English speakers altered the spelling of "conterroller" (meaning "controller," from the Middle French contrerolleur) under the influence of the Middle French word compte ("account"). The resulting word, "comptroller," has attracted criticism over the years. Grammarian Henry Fowler condemned "comptroller" as "not merely archaic, but erroneous" in 1920, and a lexicographical column from 1931 agreed that "comptroller" is "erroneous and should not be accepted as correct." Nevertheless, such modern institutions as colleges and governments continue to have comptrollers. "Comptrollership" occasionally turns up as well.

Origin and Etymology of comptroller

Middle English, alteration of countreroller controller


COMPTROLLER Defined for English Language Learners

comptroller

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noun

Definition of comptroller for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is in charge of the financial accounts of a company or organization


Law Dictionary

comptroller

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noun comp·trol·ler \kən-ˈtrō-lər, ˈkämp-ˌtrō-\

Legal Definition of comptroller

  1. :  the head accounting officer of a company or government



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