1

control

verb con·trol \ kən-ˈtrōl \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of control

controlled; controlling
transitive verb
1 a archaic : to check, test, or verify by evidence or experiments
b : to incorporate suitable controls in
  • a controlled experiment
2 a : 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

controllability

play \kən-ˌtrō-lə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

controllable

play \kən-ˈtrō-lə-bəl\ adjective

controlment

play \kən-ˈtrōl-mənt\ noun

Examples of control in a Sentence

  1. The parents could not control their child.

  2. The police controlled the crowd.

  3. The small boy could not control the big dog.

  4. Her family controls the business.

  5. One country controls the whole island.

  6. The rebel army now controls nearly half the country.

  7. The lights on stage are controlled by this computer.

  8. She struggled to control the cart as it rolled before her down the steep, bumpy road.

  9. He controlled the volume by turning the radio's knob.

  10. A thermostat controls the room's temperature.

Recent Examples of control from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of control

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

Synonym Discussion of control

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

2

control

noun, often attributive

Definition of control

1 a : 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 controls
  • rent 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

Examples of control in a Sentence

  1. The city wanted local control of education.

  2. The tribes fought for control over the territory.

  3. He took control of the family farm.

  4. She hired an accountant to take control of her money.

  5. He lost all muscle control in his left arm.

  6. The soccer player showed good control of the ball.

  7. a teacher with good control of her students

  8. The farmer used an organic pest control on his crops.

  9. To cut down on competition, the government passed price controls on prescription drugs.

  10. The President wants stricter controls on immigration.

Recent Examples of control from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of control

control Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of control

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

CONTROL Defined for English Language Learners

control

verb

Definition of control for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of control for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

control

verb con·trol \ kən-ˈtrōl \

Definition of control for Students

controlled; controlling
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?

History for control

In medieval England, records were kept in a variety of French. In this variety of French, a contreroule, or “counter-roll,” was a piece of parchment on which payments and receipts were written down. The verb contrerouler meant to check the original records against the “counter-roll” to be sure no mistakes were made. These two words were the source of our noun and verb control. The sense “checking for mistakes” survives in the way we use control to mean something used to check the results of a scientific experiment.


2

control

noun

Definition of control for Students

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 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

Medical Dictionary

1

control

verb con·trol \ kən-ˈtrōl \

medical Definition of control

controlled; controlling
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

2

control

noun

medical Definition of control

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

Law Dictionary

control

transitive verb con·trol

legal Definition of control

controlled; controlling
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

control

noun


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