control

verb
con·​trol | \ kən-ˈtrōl How to pronounce control (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from control

Verb

controllability \ kən-​ˌtrō-​lə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce controllability (audio) \ noun
controllable \ kən-​ˈtrō-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce controllable (audio) \ adjective
controlment \ kən-​ˈtrōl-​mənt How to pronounce controlment (audio) \ 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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The brain pathway that usually controls your period goes into sleep mode. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Why Does It Seem Like I Always Get My Period While Traveling?," 8 Apr. 2019 Viacom’s weakness in such contract negotiations is one reason why its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, would like to combine the company with CBS. Meg James, The Seattle Times, "Viacom, AT&T reach deal that keeps Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central on DirecTV," 25 Mar. 2019 Deal negotiations fell apart last year, but a merger is seen as almost inevitable as the two media giants have a common controlling shareholder. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "CBS Investors’ Glass Is Half Empty," 14 Feb. 2019 Likewise, the Accord's controlled body motions and supple ride quality encourage its occupants to relax during the everyday slog. Car and Driver, "2019 10Best Cars," 28 Nov. 2018 But Kara Swisher points out that Sandberg is being held to a tougher line than Zuckerberg, the company’s top executive, visionary founder and its controlling shareholder. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Black Friday shoppers chose their screens over brick-and-mortar stores," 26 Nov. 2018 Like Ori’s original Studio Suite, the Cloud Bed and Pocket closet run on tracks and are controlled through buttons, apps, and voice commands. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Ori’s new robotic furniture includes a bed that drops from the ceiling," 14 Nov. 2018 These same restrictions mean that as of 2013, fewer than 20 randomized controlled trials (the gold standard for scientific research) have tested the benefits of marijuana, according to the American Medical Association. Angela Chen, The Verge, "This cannabis-derived drug just got approved, but that won’t make it easier to get edibles," 3 Oct. 2018 Drivers can also opt in for a harder workout via a rotary dial that controls the pedal resistance. Dom Tripolone, Fox News, "Bike pedal-operated Audi burns calories as you drive," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That's offset somewhat by several newly standard features, including dual-zone automatic climate control and active-safety features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Hyundai Elantra Drops Its Manual Transmission and Gets a CVT for Better MPG," 14 May 2019 The company also took steps to improve its FCPA compliance, including enhancing its internal accounting controls and adopting a new anticorruption policy and compliance structure, according to the agency. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "Telefonica Brasil Pays $4.1 Million Fine in World Cup Ticket Case," 10 May 2019 The Fox takeover helps Disney tighten its control over TV shows and movies from start to finish — from creating the programs to distributing them though television channels, movie theaters, streaming services and other avenues. Michael Liedtke, The Seattle Times, "Disney unveils new streaming service to debut late this year," 14 Apr. 2019 Among James and Lachlan Murdoch, the two princes jousting for control of the actual empire, take your pick between Kieran Culkin, who plays the reckless Roman, and Jeremey Strong, who plays his ruthless but inept brother, Kendall. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Confirmed: Yes, Rupert Murdoch's Family Enjoys Watching "Succession"," 8 Apr. 2019 With Microsoft's decision to end development of its own Web rendering engine and switch to Chromium, control over the Web has functionally been ceded to Google. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to," 17 Dec. 2018 Spears's father Jamie is the conservator of her estate, meaning that Britney has not had full legal control of her finances and career for many years. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Britney Spears Responds in Instagram Video to Fans Concerned About Her Well-Being," 24 Apr. 2019 For example, while the Boltons had control of Winterfell, their house sigil, an upside down flayed man, was displayed on the Northern castle during the opening sequence. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Game of Thrones Season 8 Title Sequence Is Completely Different," 15 Apr. 2019 Gaining control of medical devices through wireless connections would allow hackers to visualize vital signs or potentially even cause harm. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Design a Network That Lives Inside Your Body," 13 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about control

Statistics for control

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for control

The first known use of control was in 1523

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce control (audio) \
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 How to pronounce control (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on control

What made you want to look up control? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!