con·​trol·​ler | \kən-ˈtrō-lər, ˈkän-ˌtrō- \

Definition of controller 

1a : comptroller sense 1

b : comptroller sense 2

c : the chief accounting officer of a business enterprise or an institution (such as a college)

2a : one that controls or has power or authority to control air traffic controller

b : control sense 3b

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Other Words from controller

controllership \ kən-​ˈtrō-​lər-​ˌship , ˈkän-​ˌtrō-​ \ noun

Synonyms for controller


control, regulator

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Examples of controller in a Sentence

the controllers for the video game system seem fairly well designed

Recent Examples on the Web

Every station also includes a GameTrak, a game controller with a retractable cable. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Aural Magic of Stanford's Laptop Orchestra," 8 June 2018 With an extensive array of buttons, paddles and dials, the rectangular-shaped steering wheel looks more like a video-game controller on steroids or something Han Solo might use to pilot the Millennium Falcon. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "IndyCar steering wheels are $40K marvels that might crash most of us," 1 June 2018 Ernie's professional career included the New Departure (GM) in Bristol, Royal Typewriter in Hartford, and 21 years of committed service to Zero Manufacturing, in Monson, Massachusetts, as the chief controller of all US divisions., "Ernest A. Lefebvre," 14 Mar. 2018 Young has served as the company’s controller since January 2015. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "BRF GlobalScape," 2 Mar. 2018 The preview was played with an Xbox 360 controller. Eder Campuzano,, "With 'World Next Door' demo, Rose City Games shows off a promising first project," 21 Apr. 2018 SunHarvest Solar goes a step further and encourages the use of a load controller for homes served by Salt River Project. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Should you install solar on your home? 10 key considerations," 4 July 2018 The president discusses immigration in the vocabulary of a pest-controller. The Economist, "America’s immigration system is broken," 28 June 2018 The jury’s still out on a new controller that relies on a touch pad for navigation and other features, though. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Acura RDX review: Value, power drive SUV forward," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'controller.' 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 controller

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

History and Etymology for controller

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

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Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for controller

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

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English Language Learners Definition of controller

: a person who is in charge of the money received and paid out by a business or college

: a person who directs the action of something

: a device or piece of equipment used to operate a machine, vehicle, or system


con·​trol·​ler | \kən-ˈtrō-lər, ˈkän-ˌtrō- \

Legal Definition of controller 

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Comments on controller

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


playful or foolish behavior

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