reg·​u·​late | \ ˈre-gyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce regulate (audio) also ˈrā- \
regulated; regulating

Definition of regulate

transitive verb

1a : to govern or direct according to rule
b(1) : to bring under the control of law or constituted authority
(2) : to make regulations for or concerning regulate the industries of a country
2 : to bring order, method, or uniformity to regulate one's habits
3 : to fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of regulate the pressure of a tire

Other Words from regulate

regulative \ ˈre-​gyə-​ˌlā-​tiv How to pronounce regulate (audio) also  ˈrā-​ \ adjective
regulatory \ ˈre-​gyə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce regulate (audio) also  ˈrā-​ \ adjective

Examples of regulate in a Sentence

The dam regulates the flow of water into the river. We need better laws to regulate the content of the Internet. Laws have been made to regulate working conditions. The government regulates how much lead may be found in our water supply. The department regulates foreign trade.
Recent Examples on the Web Unlike many other countries, the U.S. government does not regulate or negotiate prescription drug prices set by drug companies and manufacturers. Alena Botros, Fortune, 14 Aug. 2022 The state’s Gaming Commission will regulate the industry and is allowed to license up to seven companies that do not already have a casino presence in Massachusetts. Will Yakowicz, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 Surovell hopes more rules will be passed to regulate the technology in other states, similar to how law enforcement use of technologies such as radar, breath testing, and substance analysis are already regulated. Rachel Metz, CNN, 5 Aug. 2022 The town currently does not regulate short-term housing within its zoning code. al, 4 Aug. 2022 Winners in all four towns will be responsible for community challenges such as how to regulate short-term rentals, manage growth and ensure adequate water supplies. Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic, 2 Aug. 2022 These laws attempt to regulate nearly every moment of a young person’s life, reaching the hand of government into exam rooms, living rooms, locker rooms, and — the place where young people spend the majority of their waking hours — classrooms. Sam Ames,, 29 July 2022 The system allows municipalities to regulate e-bikes further, based on the classes. Taylor Dolven,, 27 July 2022 Although most of these trigger laws apply specifically to pregnancy, and so do not regulate embryos outside of the human body, the idea that life begins at the very moment of fertilization could be used to target embryonic research, says Cohen. Wired, 21 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of regulate

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

History and Etymology for regulate

Middle English, from Late Latin regulatus, past participle of regulare, from Latin regula rule

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Time Traveler for regulate

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near regulate



regulated company

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Statistics for regulate

Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Regulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for regulate


reg·​u·​late | \ ˈre-gyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce regulate (audio) \
regulated; regulating

Kids Definition of regulate

1 : to bring under the control of authority : make rules concerning Laws regulate water quality.
2 : to control the time, amount, degree, or rate of The dam regulates water flow.
3 : to bring order or method to The program is regulated well.

Other Words from regulate

regulator \ -​ˌlā-​tər \ noun


transitive verb
reg·​u·​late | \ ˈreg-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce regulate (audio) \
regulated; regulating

Medical Definition of regulate

1 : to control or direct according to rule or law regulate the testing of experimental drugs
2 : to fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of

Other Words from regulate

regulatory \ -​lə-​ˌtōr-​ē, -​ˌtȯr-​ How to pronounce regulate (audio) \ adjective


transitive verb
regulated; regulating

Legal Definition of regulate

1 : to govern or direct according to rule
2a : to bring under the control of law
b : to make regulations for or concerning

More from Merriam-Webster on regulate

Nglish: Translation of regulate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of regulate for Arabic Speakers


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