[ree-juh nt]


a person who exercises the ruling power in a kingdom during the minority, absence, or disability of the sovereign.
a ruler or governor.
a member of the governing board of a state university or a state educational system.
a university officer who exercises general supervision over the conduct and welfare of the students.
(in certain Catholic universities) a member of the religious order who is associated in the administration of a school or college with a layperson who is its dean or director.


acting as regent of a country; exercising ruling authority in behalf of a sovereign during his or her minority, absence, or disability (usually used postpositively): a prince regent.

Origin of regent

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin regent- (stem of regēns), present participle of regere to rule
Related formsre·gent·al, adjectivere·gent·ship, nounsub·re·gent, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for regent

Contemporary Examples of regent

Historical Examples of regent

British Dictionary definitions for regent



the ruler or administrator of a country during the minority, absence, or incapacity of its monarch
(formerly) a senior teacher or administrator in any of certain universities
US and Canadian a member of the governing board of certain schools and colleges
rare any person who governs or rules


(usually postpositive) acting or functioning as a regenta queen regent
rare governing, ruling, or controlling
Derived Formsregental, adjectiveregentship, noun

Word Origin for regent

C14: from Latin regēns ruling, from regere to rule
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 regent

"one who rules during the minority or absence of a sovereign," c.1400, from the adjective (now archaic, attested in English late 14c.), from Old French regent and directly from Medieval Latin regentem (nominative regens), from Latin regens "ruler, governor," noun use of present participle of regere "to rule, direct" (see regal). Senses of "university faculty member" is attested from mid-15c., originally Scottish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper