control 1 of 2

as in controller
a mechanism for adjusting the operation of a device, machine, or system the controls for the player are well marked

Synonyms & Similar Words



2 of 2


as in to contain
to gain emotional or mental control of he controlled himself only with the greatest difficulty in the face of his opponent's insulting remarks

Synonyms & Similar Words


Synonym Chooser

How does the noun control contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of control are authority, command, dominion, jurisdiction, power, and sway. While all these words mean "the right to govern or rule or determine," control stresses the power to direct and restrain.

you are responsible for the students under your control

When can authority be used instead of control?

While in some cases nearly identical to control, authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits.

granted the authority to manage her estate

In what contexts can command take the place of control?

The words command and control are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience.

the army officer in command

When is dominion a more appropriate choice than control?

Although the words dominion and control have much in common, dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority.

given dominion over all the animals

Where would jurisdiction be a reasonable alternative to control?

The meanings of jurisdiction and control largely overlap; however, jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits.

the bureau having jurisdiction over parks

When would power be a good substitute for control?

In some situations, the words power and control are roughly equivalent. However, power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence.

the power to mold public opinion

When might sway be a better fit than control?

While the synonyms sway and control are close in meaning, sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence.

the empire extended its sway over the region

Thesaurus Entries Near control

Cite this Entry

“Control.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on control

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!