[ self-reg-yuh-leyt ]

verb (used with or without object)

, self-reg·u·lat·ed, self-reg·u·lat·ing.
  1. to make necessary adjustments automatically or by means of built-in or internal mechanisms:

    She argued that state interventions do not allow the market to self-regulate through its own feedback loops.

    Our focus will be on finding ways to allow electronic systems to self-regulate the amount of energy they use.

  2. to govern oneself by voluntarily creating and following one’s own rules or guidelines, as for a particular area of oversight:

    The transport agency is cracking down after years of relying on trucking companies to self-regulate their safety standards.

  3. Psychology. to monitor and cope with one’s emotions, physical states, thoughts, and behavior in healthy, socially acceptable ways:

    We teach parents strategies to help their children learn to self-regulate.

    Eventually he began to self-regulate his feelings of anxiety and take more risks.

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Other Words From

  • self-reg·u·lat·ed adjective
  • self-reg·u·lat·ing adjective
  • self-reg·u·la·tion [self-regy, uh, -, ley, sh, uh, n], noun
  • self-reg·u·lat·ive [self-, reg, -y, uh, -ley-tiv, -y, uh, -l, uh, -tiv], adjective
  • self-reg·u·la·to·ry [self-, reg, -y, uh, -l, uh, -tawr-ee], adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of self-regulate1

First recorded in 1830–40

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Example Sentences

Laws vary from state to state, and banks are essentially left to self-regulate.

This system is meant to self-regulate by weeding out the bad eggs.

Nor can we logically expect the foreign governments reaping so much reward from this absentee population to self-regulate.