WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
v. [~ + object]
- to regulate, govern, or command;
manage:The pilot controlled the plane from the cockpit.
- to hold (something) in check;
hold (something) back:to control one's emotions.
- to prevent the spread of:The firefighters worked to control the forest fire.
- the act or power of controlling:[uncountable]Who has control over the newspaper now?
- [uncountable] check or restraint: My anger was under control.
- [countable] a person who acts as a check;
- Mechanical Engineeringcontrols, [plural] an arrangement of devices, such as switches, for regulating or directing the operation of a machine:The controls are easy to understand and within easy reach of the driver.
- at the controls, in charge of;
directing:Is anyone at the controls at headquarters?
con•trol•la•ble, adj.: At this point the problem is still controllable.
con•trol•ling, adj. [before a noun]has a controlling interest in the company.
- to exercise restraint or direction over;
- to hold in check;
curb:to control a horse; to control one's emotions.
- to test or verify (a scientific experiment) by a parallel experiment or other standard of comparison.
- to eliminate or prevent the flourishing or spread of:to control a forest fire.
- [Obs.]to check or regulate (transactions), originally by means of a duplicate register.
- the act or power of controlling;
domination or command:Who's in control here?
- the situation of being under the regulation, domination, or command of another:The car is out of control.
- check or restraint:Her anger is under control.
- a legal or official means of regulation or restraint:to institute wage and price controls.
- a standard of comparison in scientific experimentation.
- a person who acts as a check;
- a device for regulating and guiding a machine, as a motor or airplane.
- controls, a coordinated arrangement of such devices.
- prevention of the flourishing or spread of something undesirable:rodent control.
- Sport[Baseball.]the ability of a pitcher to throw the ball into the strike zone consistently:The rookie pitcher has great power but no control.
- Stamps[Philately.]any device printed on a postage or revenue stamp to authenticate it as a government issue or to identify it for bookkeeping purposes.
- a spiritual agency believed to assist a medium at a séance.
- the supervisor to whom an espionage agent reports when in the field.
con•trol′la•bil′i•ty, con•trol′la•ble•ness, n.
- Anglo-French contreroller to keep a duplicate account or roll, derivative of contrerolle (noun, nominal). See counter-, roll
- late Middle English co(u)ntrollen (verb, verbal) 1425–75
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged manage, govern, rule.
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged restrain, bridle, constrain.
- 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged management, government, reign, rule, mastery. See authority.