con·​trol·​ling kən-ˈtrō-liŋ How to pronounce controlling (audio)
: inclined to control others' behavior : domineering

Example Sentences

She is very strict and controlling. The larger bank remained the controlling party when it took over the smaller banks. He paid over 40 million dollars for a controlling interest in the company.
Recent Examples on the Web Murdoch has a controlling stake in Fox, while IFP as a key shareholder has a 7.7 percent stake and another 7 percent stake in News Corp. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Nov. 2022 In the past few months the company launched a consulting firm called Green Thread, and purchased a controlling stake in digital experiences agency First Tube Media, which will work closely with HS&E. Eben Novy-williams, Variety, 14 Nov. 2022 Station group Nexstar officially took control of The CW in October after buying a controlling 75 percent stake in the network from CBS Studios and Warner Bros. TV (who each retain a 12.5 percent share). Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Nov. 2022 Pitt sued Jolie in Feburary over Château Miraval, the vineyard in the South of France the two purchased a controlling stake in in 2008. Carlie Porterfield, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 Thompson will take a controlling stake in the business, though financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 26 Sep. 2022 Fortum acquired 49% of Uniper in 2017, raising it in several stages to a controlling stake. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 21 Sep. 2022 Try to be less controlling, critical, and overprotective of your children. Mark Travers, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 Kevin calls Kurt to tell on Patty, and it’s pretty abusive, honestly, and very, very controlling. Olivia Truffaut-wong,, 19 July 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1974, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of controlling was in 1974

Dictionary Entries Near controlling

Cite this Entry

“Controlling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


: tending to control the behavior of other people

Legal Definition


: exercising domination or influence
the controlling principles of law
: dispositive
judgment debtor's stipulation to pay a specified amount is not controlling J. H. Friedenthal et al.
: having controlling interest
controlling shareholders
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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