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regency

[ree-juh n-see]
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noun, plural re·gen·cies.
  1. the office, jurisdiction, or control of a regent or body of regents exercising the ruling power during the minority, absence, or disability of a sovereign.
  2. a body of regents.
  3. a government consisting of regents.
  4. a territory under the control of a regent or regents.
  5. the term of office of a regent.
  6. (initial capital letter) British History. the period (1811–20) during which George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, was regent.
  7. (initial capital letter) French History. the period of the minority of Louis XV.
  8. the office or function of a regent or ruler.
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adjective
  1. of or relating to a regency.
  2. History/Historical. of or relating to the Regencies in England or France.
  3. (often initial capital letter) of or relating to the style of architecture, furnishings, and decoration of the British Regency, somewhat similar to the French Directoire and Empire styles and characterized by close imitation of ancient Greek forms as well as by less frequent and looser adaptations of ancient Roman, Gothic, Chinese, and ancient Egyptian forms.
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Origin of regency

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Medieval Latin word rēgentia. See regent, -ency
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

authoritydominionpowerruledominance

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British Dictionary definitions for regency

regency

noun plural -cies
  1. government by a regent or a body of regents
  2. the office of a regent or body of regents
  3. a territory under the jurisdiction of a regent or body of regents
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Word Origin

C15: from Medieval Latin regentia, from Latin regere to rule

Regency

noun the Regency
  1. (in the United Kingdom) the period (1811–20) during which the Prince of Wales (later George IV) acted as regent during his father's periods of insanity
  2. (in France) the period of the regency of Philip, Duke of Orleans, during the minority of Louis XV (1715–23)
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adjective
  1. characteristic of or relating to the Regency periods in France or the United Kingdom or to the styles of architecture, furniture, art, literature, etc, produced in them
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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 regency

n.

early 15c., "government by regents," from Medieval Latin regentia, from Latin regens (see regent). Notable instances were: France 1715-1723 (under Philip, Duke of Orleans), Britain 1811-1820 (under George, Prince of Wales, Prince Regent), "in each case with suggestion of debauchery" [Weekley]. In reference to the style of that time, attested from 1880 (there is an unexplained use in Jane Austen from 1793). Cf. French equivalent Régence, attested in English from 1919. U.S. Albany Regency refers to dominant political faction in New York state c.1820-1850.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper