re·​gen·​cy | \ ˈrē-jən(t)-sē How to pronounce regency (audio) \
plural regencies

Definition of regency

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the office, jurisdiction, or government of a regent or body of regents
2 : a body of regents
3 : the period of rule of a regent or body of regents



Definition of Regency (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of the styles of George IV's regency as Prince of Wales during the period 1811–20

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When Was the regency Period?

In Britain, the years from the time when George III was declared insane until his death (1811–1820) are known as the Regency period, since in these years his son, the future George IV, served as Prince Regent, or acting monarch. (Sometimes the term covers the period up to the end of George IV's own reign in 1830.) The Regency is remembered for its elegant architecture and fashions, its literature (especially the works of Jane Austen), and its politics. Today hotels, furniture, and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic carry the name "Regency" to identify with the period's style, and hundreds of modern romance novels—called simply "Regencies"—have been set in the period.

Examples of regency in a Sentence


The people supported the regency. Peace was restored during the regency.


an example of Regency furniture
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Donggala is a sprawling regency that sits on both sides of a narrow bay, where the shores were devastated by tsunami waves as high as 6 meters (almost 20 feet). Tatan Syuflana, The Seattle Times, "Tsunami and quake survivors eat last bit of food and seethe," 3 Oct. 2018 The regency hotel's breakfast room on Park Avenue in Manhattan is only a couple of miles from the Upper West Side. Bob Morris, Town & Country, "Two Blocks Away. Seriously!," 12 Dec. 2012 Islamic State also tried to establish a ministate of its own in the Indonesian regency of Poso, on Sulawesi island, in 2015. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "Islamic State’s Attacks Raise Threat of Southeast Asia Hub," 7 June 2018 The decor ranges from Hollywood regency to space age to ultra modern. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "See Inside Gwen Stefani's Over-The-Top Beverly Hills Mansion," 17 Apr. 2018 The police chief of Bireuen regency on the island of Sumatra, Riza Yulianto, said the group of men, women and children was rescued Friday afternoon. Fox News, "Indonesian fishermen rescue Rohingya in seas off Aceh," 20 Apr. 2018 The police chief of Bireuen regency in Aceh on the island of Sumatra, Riza Yulianto, said the group of eight children, 25 women and 43 men was brought ashore in their wooden boat Friday afternoon. Washington Post, "Indonesian fishermen rescue Rohingya in seas off Aceh," 20 Apr. 2018 At the waistline, which was cut slightly high, was a belt with a long sash made of blush pink satin accented with a regency buckle of paste stones. Sue Strachan,, "Mystic Club's costumed merriment at annual bal masque," 22 Feb. 2018 Even divine-right monarchies had their tactful regencies and pragmatic sanctions. Helen Andrews, National Review, "Where Zimbabwe Went Wrong," 18 Dec. 2017

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1811, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for regency

Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for regency

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

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English Language Learners Definition of regency

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a government or period of time in which a person (called a regent) rules in place of a king or queen



English Language Learners Definition of Regency (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or like the styles in Britain during the period 1811-20

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the range of authority or knowledge

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