control

verb
con·​trol | \ kən-ˈtrōl \
controlled; controlling

Definition of control

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a archaic : to check, test, or verify by evidence or experiments
b : to incorporate suitable controls in a controlled experiment
2a : to exercise restraining or directing influence over : regulate control one's anger
b : to have power over : rule A single company controls the industry.
c : to reduce the incidence or severity of especially to innocuous levels control an insect population control a disease

intransitive verb

: to incorporate controls in an experiment or study used with for control for socioeconomic differences

control

noun, often attributive

Definition of control (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act or instance of controlling also : power or authority to guide or manage He took control of the family business.
b : skill in the use of a tool, instrument, technique, or artistic medium a singer's control of her voice
c : the regulation of economic activity especially by government directive usually used in plural price controlsrent controls
d : the ability of a baseball pitcher to control the location of a pitch within the strike zone
2 : restraint, reserve exercised control of his passions
3 : one that controls: such as
a(1) : an experiment in which the subjects are treated as in a parallel experiment except for omission of the procedure or agent under test and which is used as a standard of comparison in judging experimental effects

called also control experiment

(2) : one (such as an organism, culture, or group) that is part of a control
b : a device or mechanism used to regulate or guide the operation of a machine, apparatus, or system the controls of the aircraft
c : an organization that directs a spaceflight mission control
d : a personality or spirit believed to actuate the utterances or performances of a spiritualist medium
4 or less commonly Control : control key

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Other Words from control

Verb

controllability \ kən-​ˌtrō-​lə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
controllable \ kən-​ˈtrō-​lə-​bəl \ adjective
controlment \ kən-​ˈtrōl-​mənt \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for control

Synonyms: Verb

bridle, check, constrain, contain, curb, govern, hold, inhibit, keep, measure, pull in, regulate, rein (in), restrain, rule, tame

Synonyms: Noun

controller, regulator

Antonyms: Verb

lose

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Choose the Right Synonym for control

Verb

conduct, manage, control, direct mean to use one's powers to lead, guide, or dominate. conduct implies taking responsibility for the acts and achievements of a group. conducted negotiations manage implies direct handling and manipulating or maneuvering toward a desired result. manages a meat market control implies a regulating or restraining in order to keep within bounds or on a course. controlling his appetite direct implies constant guiding and regulating so as to achieve smooth operation. directs the store's day-to-day business

Noun

power, authority, jurisdiction, control, command, sway, dominion mean the right to govern or rule or determine. power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence. the power to mold public opinion authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits. granted the authority to manage her estate jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits. the bureau having jurisdiction over parks control stresses the power to direct and restrain. you are responsible for the students under your control command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience. the army officer in command sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence. the empire extended its sway over the region dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority. given dominion over all the animals

Examples of control in a Sentence

Verb

The parents could not control their child. The police controlled the crowd. The small boy could not control the big dog. Her family controls the business. One country controls the whole island. The rebel army now controls nearly half the country. The lights on stage are controlled by this computer. She struggled to control the cart as it rolled before her down the steep, bumpy road. He controlled the volume by turning the radio's knob. A thermostat controls the room's temperature.

Noun

The city wanted local control of education. The tribes fought for control over the territory. He took control of the family farm. She hired an accountant to take control of her money. He lost all muscle control in his left arm. The soccer player showed good control of the ball. a teacher with good control of her students The farmer used an organic pest control on his crops. To cut down on competition, the government passed price controls on prescription drugs. The President wants stricter controls on immigration.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Vaccines have helped control many viral diseases, and drugs are important adjuncts for HIV, herpes and a few others. William F. Bynum, WSJ, "‘Pandemic 1918’ and ‘Influenza’ Review: Fire, Ice or Virus?," 4 Jan. 2019 The designers control what the rough shape of the ceramic will be by programming code into the printer. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The most bizarre and brilliant projects from a Dutch design fair," 5 Nov. 2018 Learning more about this possibility could help us control some of the bacterial infections that commonly occur after broad-spectrum antibiotic treatments have hugely disrupted the normal gut microbiome, the authors suggest. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Gut bacteria recover from antibiotics, but they may take six months," 28 Oct. 2018 Moreover, the weak force controls how often neutrinos interact with regular matter, which in turn has an effect on how energy drains from the interiors of stars. Charles Q. Choi, Space.com, "Why Alternate Universes Might Also Host Life Around their Stars," 26 Sep. 2018 At one point, police used the pepper-spray projectiles to help control the crowd, according to news reports. Ryan Tarinelli, Fox News, "Reports of pepper-spray projectile use concern Dallas chief," 12 Sep. 2018 In 2016, descendants agreed to form a new company controlled by W.P. Lavori. Ruth Simon, WSJ, "Weaving Magic Unravels in Woolrich, Pa.," 21 Dec. 2018 The White House, House, and Senate are currently all controlled by the same party—the GOP—and history shows that one-party control tends to make for interesting midterm elections, especially if the sitting President has low approval ratings. Rebecca Gale, Marie Claire, "How to Impact the Midterms, Even If You Don’t Live in a Swing State," 22 Oct. 2018 All this activity is controlled by the complex interactions of DNA, RNA (the molecules that carry out DNA’s instructions) and protein molecules, says Voigt. Eric Smalley, Discover Magazine, "Cellular Cyborgs: How Programmable DNA Strands Might Control Healing," 25 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Authorities have jailed thousands of Islamists along with secular, pro-democracy advocates, imposing tight controls over the media and rolling back freedoms won in a popular 2011 uprising. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "Attorney says Egyptian activist to return to jail any time," 1 Jan. 2019 Continue to alternate, focusing on control over speed. SELF, "Dumbbell Workout and AMRAP Push," 31 Dec. 2018 Its finale unleashed a powerful ancient force into the world, while augmented thief Sancia now has more control over her abilities to sense magical objects. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 But there was one singer who viewers were convinced went home for reasons beyond her control. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'The Voice' Fans Think MaKenzie Thomas Was Eliminated Because of a Typo," 12 Dec. 2018 As Iovine wrote for Man Repeller, orbiting may be a way of exerting control over someone. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, ""Orbiting" Is the New Breakup Habit That's Worse Than Ghosting," 11 Dec. 2018 The flight data recorder shows that pilots tried multiple times to regain control before the jet plunged into the sea. Barbara S. Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "If the Lion Air Jet Was "Unairworthy," Then Why Was It Allowed To Fly?," 29 Nov. 2018 Over the course of my mother's cancer, knowledge was my form of control. Lori Segal, Allure, "My Mom's Breast Cancer Story Doesn't Have a Happy Ending," 11 Oct. 2018 Nonetheless, all that said, an aspiring journalist cannot single-handedly control industry trends or defeat structural forms of discrimination. David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018

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

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First Known Use of control

Verb

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for control

Verb and Noun

Middle English countrollen, from Anglo-French contrerouler, from contreroule copy of an account, audit, from Medieval Latin contrarotulus, from Latin contra- + Medieval Latin rotulus roll — more at roll

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Statistics for control

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for control

The first known use of control was in 1523

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More Definitions for control

control

verb

English Language Learners Definition of control

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to direct the behavior of (a person or animal) : to cause (a person or animal) to do what you want

: to have power over (something)

: to direct the actions or function of (something) : to cause (something) to act or function in a certain way

control

noun

English Language Learners Definition of control (Entry 2 of 2)

: the power to make decisions about how something is managed or done

: the ability to direct the actions of someone or something

: an action, method, or law that limits the amount or growth of something

control

verb
con·​trol | \ kən-ˈtrōl \
controlled; controlling

Kids Definition of control

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to have power over "Ah, gods, plural, as in, great beings that control the forces of nature and human endeavors…"— Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief
2 : to direct the actions or behavior of Police can control a crowd.
3 : to keep within bounds : restrain Learn to control your temper.
4 : to direct the function of How do you control this machine?

control

noun

Kids Definition of control (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the power or authority to manage The city wanted local control of education.
2 : ability to keep within bounds or direct the operation of The fire is out of control. He lost control of the car.
3 : self-restraint I lost control and started yelling.
4 : regulation sense 2 price controls
5 : a device used to start, stop, or change the operation of a machine or system a radio control
6 : something that is not treated or exposed to testing in an experiment in order to serve as a comparison to others that have undergone treatment or exposure

control

verb
con·​trol | \ kən-ˈtrōl \
controlled; controlling

Medical Definition of control

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to incorporate suitable controls in a controlled experiment
2 : to reduce the incidence or severity of especially to innocuous levels control an insect population a vaccine for controlling outbreaks of cholera

intransitive verb

: to incorporate controls in an experiment or study used with for failure to control for the difference in the rate of smoking between the two groups— Howard Bauchner et al

control

noun

Medical Definition of control (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of controlling something control of acute intermittent porphyria
2 : one that is used in controlling something: as
a : an experiment in which the subjects are treated as in a parallel experiment except for omission of the procedure or agent under test and which is used as a standard of comparison in judging experimental effects

called also control experiment

b : one (as an organism, culture, or group) that is part of a control

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control

transitive verb
con·​trol
controlled; controlling

Legal Definition of control

1 : to exercise restraining or directing influence over especially by law
2 : to have power or authority over precedent controls the outcome in this case
3 : to have controlling interest in

Other Words from control

control noun

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Comments on control

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