verb (used with object), con·trolled, con·trol·ling.


Verb Phrases

control for, Statistics. to account for (variables in an analysis) by limiting the data under consideration to a comparison of like things: to control for demographic factors.

Nearby words

  1. contritely,
  2. contrition,
  3. contrivance,
  4. contrive,
  5. contrived,
  6. control account,
  7. control board,
  8. control center,
  9. control character,
  10. control chart

Origin of control

1425–75; late Middle English co(u)ntrollen (v.) < Anglo-French contreroller to keep a duplicate account or roll, derivative of contrerolle (noun). See counter-, roll

Related forms

Synonym study

6. See authority. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for controlless


verb -trols, -trolling or -trolled (tr)

to command, direct, or ruleto control a country
to check, limit, curb, or regulate; restrainto control one's emotions; to control a fire
to regulate or operate (a machine)
to verify (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment in which the variable being investigated is held constant or is compared with a standard
  1. to regulate (financial affairs)
  2. to examine and verify (financial accounts)
to restrict or regulate the authorized supply of (certain substances, such as drugs)


power to direct or determineunder control; out of control
a means of regulation or restraint; curb; checka frontier control
(often plural) a device or mechanism for operating a car, aircraft, etc
a standard of comparison used in a statistical analysis or scientific experiment
  1. a device that regulates the operation of a machine. A dynamic control is one that incorporates a governor so that it responds to the output of the machine it regulates
  2. (as modifier)control panel; control room
spiritualism an agency believed to assist the medium in a séance
Also called: control mark a letter, or letter and number, printed on a sheet of postage stamps, indicating authenticity, date, and series of issue
one of a number of checkpoints on a car rally, orienteering course, etc, where competitors check in and their time, performance, etc, is recorded
Derived Formscontrollable, adjectivecontrollability or controllableness, nouncontrollably, adverb

Word Origin for control

C15: from Old French conteroller to regulate, from contrerolle duplicate register, system of checking, from contre- counter- + rolle roll

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

Word Origin and History for controlless
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for controlless




To verify or regulate a scientific experiment by conducting a parallel experiment or by comparing with another standard.
To hold in restraint; check.


A standard of comparison for checking or verifying the results of an experiment.
An individual or group used as a standard of comparison in a control experiment.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for controlless



A standard of comparison for checking or verifying the results of an experiment. In an experiment to test the effectiveness of a new drug, for example, one group of subjects (the control group) receives an inactive substance or placebo , while a comparison group receives the drug being tested.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with controlless


see out of control; spin control.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.