con·​trol·​ler kən-ˈtrō-lər How to pronounce controller (audio) ˈkän-ˌtrō- How to pronounce controller (audio)
: the chief accounting officer of a business enterprise or an institution (such as a college)
: one that controls or has power or authority to control
air traffic controller
kən-ˈtrō-lər-ˌship How to pronounce controller (audio)

Examples of controller in a Sentence

the controllers for the video game system seem fairly well designed
Recent Examples on the Web At around 125 miles in altitude, mission controllers would adjust the ISS’s trajectory, tweaking the rocket’s burn to reshape the station’s roughly circular orbit into an ellipse, with its closest earthward point, or perigee, perhaps 90 miles above the planet. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 21 Nov. 2023 All went well until about eight-and-a-half minutes into the flight when controllers lost contact with the rocket. William Harwood, CBS News, 18 Nov. 2023 The controller has a D-pad, two analog joysticks, triggers and shoulder buttons, a screenshot button, and a selection of gaming buttons. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 15 Nov. 2023 Matter-over-Thread brings the option of connecting to the lock remotely without using the Wi-Fi connection via a Matter controller with Thread. Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge, 14 Nov. 2023 The report notes that the controller twice issued a low-altitude alert, essentially a warning to the pilot to make a correction. Oct. 11, 2021 Two aviation experts likened spatial disorientation to vertigo. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Nov. 2023 With a controller in hand, Beckham’s rose gold Patek Philippe Nautilus comes into view. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 3 Nov. 2023 President Joe Biden’s budget for 2023 called for the hiring of 1,500 more controllers and 1,800 more in 2024. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, 9 Nov. 2023 The highest-capacity Pro model matches or bests a single-use alkaline battery for most gadgets, including game controllers, toys, and torches. WIRED, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'controller.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English countreroller, from Anglo-French contreroulur, from contreroule

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of controller was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near controller

Cite this Entry

“Controller.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the chief accounting officer of a business or institution
: a person who controls
an air traffic controller

Legal Definition


con·​trol·​ler kən-ˈtrō-lər, ˈkän-ˌtrō- How to pronounce controller (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on controller

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