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90s Slang You Should Know


[kuh n-troh-ler] /kənˈtroʊ lər/
an employee, often an officer, of a business firm who checks expenditures, finances, etc.; comptroller.
a person who regulates, directs, or restrains.
British Aeronautics. a dispatcher.
a regulating mechanism; governor.
Also called control unit, processor. Computers. the key component of a device, as a terminal, printer, or external storage unit, that contains the circuitry necessary to interpret and execute instructions fed into the device.
a remote piece of hardware used to direct or control an electronic device:
a video-game controller.
Origin of controller
1350-1400; Middle English countrollour < Anglo-French countrero(u)llour, Middle French contrerolleur, equivalent to contrerolle duplicate roll (see control) + -eur, -our < Latin -ōr- -or2 or -ātōr- -ator
Related forms
controllership, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for controller
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A controller never did anything directly; their dirty work was done by someone else—a puppet under their mental control.

    The Penal Cluster Ivar Jorgensen (AKA Randall Garrett)
  • There is also the controller of victualling, and the controller-general of the coast-guard.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • An actual new controller is certain, and even ready; were the indispensable manoeuvres but gone through.

    The French Revolution Thomas Carlyle
  • He was the controller of a great journal: he was a leading politician.

  • This is Dr. Anton Dohrn, founder of the laboratory, and still its controller and director, in name and in fact.

British Dictionary definitions for controller


a person who directs, regulates, or restrains
Also called comptroller. a business executive or government officer who is responsible for financial planning, control, etc
the equipment concerned with controlling the operation of an electrical device
Derived Forms
controllership, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for controller

late 14c., from Anglo-French contrerolleour (late 13c.), Old French contrerelleor (Modern French contrôleur), from Medieval Latin contrarotulator, agent noun from *contra-rotulare (see control (v.)). Mechanical sense is from 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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