From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Borrowed from Latin regulatus, past participle of regulō (to direct, rule, regulate), from regula (rule), from regō (to keep straight, direct, govern, rule). Compare regle, rail. Displaced native Old English metegian. Equivalent to regular +‎ -ate.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹɛɡjəleɪt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: re‧gu‧late


regulate (third-person singular simple present regulates, present participle regulating, simple past and past participle regulated)

  1. To dictate policy.
  2. To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.
    • 1849–1861, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 11, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volumes (please specify |volume=I to V), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, →OCLC:
      the laws which regulate the succession of the seasons
    • 1834–1874, George Bancroft, History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent:
      The herdsmen near the frontier adjudicated their own disputes, and regulated their own police.
    • 2023 May 16, Cecilia Kang, “OpenAI’s Sam Altman Urges A.I. Regulation in Senate Hearing”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      But on Tuesday, Sam Altman [] testified before members of a Senate subcommittee and largely agreed with them on the need to regulate the increasingly powerful A.I. technology being created inside his company and others like Google and Microsoft.
  3. To adjust (a mechanism) for accurate and proper functioning.
    to regulate a watch, i.e. adjust its rate of running so that it will keep approximately standard time
    to regulate the temperature of a room, the pressure of steam, the speed of a machine, etc.
  4. To put or maintain in order.
    to regulate the disordered state of a nation or its finances
    to regulate one's eating habits

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of rēgulō




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of regular combined with te