control

To have control is to have the power to run something in an orderly way. A skillful teacher maintains control over students who might otherwise waste time or be disruptive.

A control can also be a device used to operate a machine, like the remote control for a television. The control in an experiment is the group that gets left alone so scientists can compare "before and after" changes in other groups. The verb control means "to be in charge." If you're a group's treasurer, you control its finances. It can also mean "hold back." You might need to control your hyperactive puppy when the mail carrier comes around.

Definitions of control
  1. noun
    power to direct or determine
    “under control
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    authorisation, authority, authorization, dominance, potency, say-so
    the power or right to give orders or make decisions
    corporatism
    control of a state or organization by large interest groups
    hold
    power by which something or someone is affected or dominated
    iron fist
    rigorous or ruthless control
    rein
    any means of control
    power of appointment
    authority given (in a will or deed) by a donor to a donee to appoint the beneficiaries of the donor's property
    carte blanche
    complete freedom or authority to act
    command
    the power or authority to command
    imperium
    supreme authority; absolute dominion
    lordship
    the authority of a lord
    muscle
    authority or power or force (especially when used in a coercive way)
    sovereignty
    the authority of a state to govern another state
    type of:
    power, powerfulness
    possession of controlling influence
  2. noun
    a relation of constraint of one entity (thing or person or group) by another
    “measures for the control of disease”
    “they instituted controls over drinking on campus”
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    type of:
    relation
    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together
  3. noun
    the state that exists when one person or group has power over another
    synonyms: ascendance, ascendancy, ascendence, ascendency, dominance
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    ascendant, ascendent
    position or state of being dominant or in control
    domination, mastery, supremacy
    power to dominate or defeat
    predominance, predomination, prepotency
    the state of being predominant over others
    dominion, rule
    dominance or power through legal authority
    regulation
    the state of being controlled or governed
    absolutism, despotism, tyranny
    dominance through threat of punishment and violence
    monopoly
    exclusive control or possession of something
    superiority, transcendence, transcendency
    the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond usual limits
    paramountcy
    the state of being paramount; the highest rank or authority
    raj
    British dominion over India (1757-1947)
    reign, sovereignty
    royal authority; the dominion of a monarch
    suzerainty
    the position or authority of a suzerain
    type of:
    condition, status
    a state at a particular time
  4. noun
    the activity of managing or exerting control over something
    “the control of the mob by the police was admirable”
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    repression
    the act of repressing; control by holding down
    crowd control
    activity of controlling a crowd
    damage control
    an effort to minimize or curtail damage or loss
    federalisation, federalization
    the act of being put under federal control
    flight control
    control from ground stations of airplanes in flight by means of messages transmitted to the pilot electronically
    flood control
    (engineering) the art or technique of trying to control rivers with dams etc in order to minimize the occurrence of floods
    imperialism
    any instance of aggressive extension of authority
    regulating, regulation
    the act of controlling or directing according to rule
    internal control
    an accounting procedure or system designed to promote efficiency or assure the implementation of a policy or safeguard assets or avoid fraud and error etc.
    regularisation, regularization, regulation
    the act of bringing to uniformity; making regular
    ownership, possession
    the act of having and controlling property
    possession
    (sport) the act of controlling the ball (or puck)
    power trip
    (slang) a self-aggrandizing action undertaken simply for the pleasure of exercising control over other people
    riot control, riot control operation
    the measures taken to control a riot
    grasping, prehension, seizing, taking hold
    the act of gripping something firmly with the hands (or the tentacles)
    steerage, steering
    the act of steering a ship
    direction, guidance, steering
    the act of setting and holding a course
    self-control, self-denial, self-discipline
    the act of denying yourself; controlling your impulses
    traffic control
    control of the flow of traffic in a building or a city
    price-fixing
    control (by agreement among producers or by government) of the price of a commodity in interstate commerce
    restraint
    the act of controlling by restraining someone or something
    driving
    the act of controlling and steering the movement of a vehicle or animal
    inventory control
    supervision of the supply and storage and accessibility of items in order to insure an adequate supply without excessive oversupply
    devaluation
    an official lowering of a nation's currency; a decrease in the value of a country's currency relative to that of foreign countries
    gun control
    efforts to regulate or control sales of guns
    indexation
    a system of economic regulation: wages and interest are tied to the cost-of-living index in order to reduce the effects of inflation
    management control
    an internal control performed by one or more managers
    quality control
    maintenance of standards of quality of manufactured goods
    timing
    the regulation of occurrence, pace, or coordination to achieve a desired effect (as in music, theater, athletics, mechanics)
    limitation, restriction
    an act of limiting or restricting (as by regulation)
    actual possession
    (law) immediate and direct physical control over property
    constructive possession
    (law) having the power and intention to have and control property but without direct control or actual presence upon it
    criminal possession
    (law) possession for which criminal sanctions are provided because the property may not lawfully be possessed or may not be possessed under certain circumstances
    holding, keeping, retention
    the act of retaining something
    clasp, clench, clutch, clutches, grasp, grip, hold
    the act of grasping
    aim
    the action of directing something at an object
    navigation, pilotage, piloting
    the guidance of ships or airplanes from place to place
    celestial guidance
    a method of controlling the flight of a missile or spacecraft by reference to the positions of celestial bodies
    inertial guidance, inertial navigation
    a method of controlling the flight of a missile by devices that respond to inertial forces
    command guidance
    a method of controlling the flight of a missile by commands originating from the ground or from another missile
    terrestrial guidance
    a method of controlling the flight of a missile by devices that respond to the strength and direction of the earth's gravitational field
    abstinence
    act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite
    ascesis, asceticism
    rigorous self-denial and active self-restraint
    mortification
    (Christianity) the act of mortifying the lusts of the flesh by self-denial and privation (especially by bodily pain or discomfort inflicted on yourself)
    point duty
    the control of traffic by a policeman stationed at an intersection
    collar, leash
    a figurative restraint
    damper
    a depressing restraint
    bridle, check, curb
    the act of restraining power or action or limiting excess
    immobilisation, immobilization, immobilizing
    the act of limiting movement or making incapable of movement
    confinement
    the act of restraining a person's liberty by confining them
    containment
    the act of containing; keeping something from spreading
    curtailment, suppression
    the act of withholding or withdrawing some book or writing from publication or circulation
    restraint of trade
    any act that tends to prevent free competition in business
    confinement, restriction
    the act of keeping something within specified bounds (by force if necessary)
    type of:
    activity
    any specific behavior
  5. noun
    the economic policy of controlling or limiting or curbing prices or wages etc.
    “they wanted to repeal all the legislation that imposed economic controls
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    price control
    restriction on maximum prices that is established and maintained by the government (as during periods of war or inflation)
    cap, ceiling, roof
    an upper limit on what is allowed
    base, floor
    a lower limit
    glass ceiling
    a ceiling based on attitudinal or organizational bias in the work force that prevents minorities and women from advancing to leadership positions
    price floor
    floor below which prices are not allowed to fall
    wage floor
    floor below which wages are not allowed to fall
    type of:
    economic policy
    a government policy for maintaining economic growth and tax revenues
  6. noun
    (physiology) regulation or maintenance of a function or action or reflex etc
    “the timing and control of his movements were unimpaired”
    “he had lost control of his sphincters”
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    motor control
    control of muscles
    type of:
    activity, bodily function, bodily process, body process
    an organic process that takes place in the body
  7. noun
    a mechanism that controls the operation of a machine
    “I turned the controls over to her”
    synonyms: controller
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    cruise control
    control mechanism for keeping an automobile at a set speed
    dial
    the control on a radio or television set that is used for tuning
    disk controller
    (computer science) a circuit or chip that translates commands into a form that can control a hard disk drive
    governor, regulator
    a control that maintains a steady speed in a machine (as by controlling the supply of fuel)
    handwheel
    control consisting of a wheel whose rim serves as the handle by which a part is operated
    joystick
    a manual control consisting of a vertical handle that can move freely in two directions; used as an input device to computers or to devices controlled by computers
    regulator
    any of various controls or devices for regulating or controlling fluid flow, pressure, temperature, etc.
    electric switch, electrical switch, switch
    control consisting of a mechanical or electrical or electronic device for making or breaking or changing the connections in a circuit
    valve
    control consisting of a mechanical device for controlling the flow of a fluid
    accelerator, throttle, throttle valve
    a valve that regulates the supply of fuel to the engine
    aperture
    a device that controls amount of light admitted
    ball cock, ballcock
    floating ball that controls level in a water tank
    ball valve
    any valve that checks flow by the seating of a ball
    butterfly valve
    a valve in a carburetor that consists of a disc that turns and acts as a throttle
    choke
    a valve that controls the flow of air into the carburetor of a gasoline engine
    clack, clack valve, clapper valve
    a simple valve with a hinge on one side; allows fluid to flow in only one direction
    commutator
    switch for reversing the direction of an electric current
    cutout
    a switch that interrupts an electric circuit in the event of an overload
    draft
    a regulator for controlling the flow of air in a fireplace
    exhaust valve
    a valve through which burned gases from a cylinder escape into the exhaust manifold
    faucet, spigot
    a regulator for controlling the flow of a liquid from a reservoir
    flywheel
    regulator consisting of a heavy wheel that stores kinetic energy and smooths the operation of a reciprocating engine
    ignition switch
    switch that operates a solenoid that closes a circuit to operate the starter
    intake valve
    a valve that controls the flow of fluid through an intake
    peg
    regulator that can be turned to regulate the pitch of the strings of a stringed instrument
    petcock
    regulator consisting of a small cock or faucet or valve for letting out air or releasing compression or draining
    poppet, poppet valve
    a mushroom-shaped valve that rises perpendicularly from its seat; commonly used in internal-combustion engines
    button, push, push button
    an electrical switch operated by pressing
    register
    a regulator (as a sliding plate) for regulating the flow of air into a furnace or other heating device
    escape, escape cock, escape valve, relief valve, safety valve
    a valve in a container in which pressure can build up (as a steam boiler); it opens automatically when the pressure reaches a dangerous level
    selector, selector switch
    a switch that is used to select among alternatives
    slide valve
    valve that opens and closes a passageway by sliding over a port
    floodgate, head gate, penstock, sluice valve, sluicegate, water gate
    regulator consisting of a valve or gate that controls the rate of water flow through a sluice
    steering wheel, wheel
    a handwheel that is used for steering
    thermoregulator, thermostat
    a regulator for automatically regulating temperature by starting or stopping the supply of heat
    three-point switch, three-way switch
    an electric switch that has three terminals; used to control a circuit from two different locations
    timer
    a regulator that activates or deactivates a mechanism at set times
    time-switch
    a switch set to operate at a desired time
    on-off switch, on/off switch, toggle, toggle switch
    a hinged switch that can assume either of two positions
    type of:
    mechanism
    device consisting of a piece of machinery; has moving parts that perform some function
  8. verb
    exercise authoritative control or power over
    control the budget”
    synonyms: command
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    preoccupy
    engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or occupy urgently or obsessively
    channelise, channelize, direct, guide, head, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, point, steer
    direct the course; determine the direction of travelling
    steer
    direct (oneself) somewhere
    hold one's own
    maintain one's position and be in control of a situation
    care, deal, handle, manage
    be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
    internationalise, internationalize
    put under international control
    hold
    take and maintain control over, often by violent means
    hold sway
    be master; reign or rule
    govern
    direct or strongly influence the behavior of
    regiment
    subject to rigid discipline, order, and systematization
    monopolise, monopolize
    have and control fully and exclusively
    draw rein, harness, rein, rein in
    control and direct with or as if by reins
    corner
    gain control over
    preside
    act as president
    dominate, master
    have dominance or the power to defeat over
    becharm, charm
    control by magic spells, as by practicing witchcraft
    govern, rule
    exercise authority over; as of nations
    call the shots, call the tune, wear the trousers
    exercise authority or be in charge
    command
    be in command of
    bewitch, enchant, glamour, hex, jinx, witch
    cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something
    dock
    maneuver into a dock
    ghost, haunt, obsess
    haunt like a ghost; pursue
    prepossess
    cause to be preoccupied
    sheer
    cause to sheer
    pull over
    steer a vehicle to the side of the road
    helm
    be at or take the helm of
    crab
    direct (an aircraft) into a crosswind
    navigate
    direct carefully and safely
    stand out
    steer away from shore, of ships
    starboard
    turn to the right, of helms or rudders
    conn
    conduct or direct the steering of a ship or plane
    navigate, pilot
    act as the navigator in a car, plane, or vessel and plan, direct, plot the path and position of the conveyance
    canalise, canalize, channel
    direct the flow of
    corner, tree
    force a person or an animal into a position from which he cannot escape
    park
    maneuver a vehicle into a parking space
    administer, administrate
    work in an administrative capacity; supervise or be in charge of
    organise, organize
    cause to be structured or ordered or operating according to some principle or idea
    work
    cause to operate or function
    come to grips, get to grips
    deal with (a problem or a subject)
    dispose of
    deal with or settle
    mind, take care
    be in charge of or deal with
    coordinate
    bring into common action, movement, or condition
    juggle
    deal with simultaneously
    process
    deal with in a routine way
    misconduct, mishandle, mismanage
    manage badly or incompetently
    direct
    be in charge of
    carry on, conduct, deal
    direct the course of; manage or control
    subject, subjugate
    make subservient; force to submit or subdue
    throne
    sit on the throne as a ruler
    misgovern
    govern badly
    dictate
    rule as a dictator
    reign
    have sovereign power
    touch
    deal with; usually used with a form of negation
    curate
    organize and oversee items in a collection or exhibit
    finesse
    plan, manage, or direct with subtle and skillful maneuvering
  9. verb
    be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something
    control the quality of the product”
    synonyms: ascertain, assure, check, ensure, insure, see, see to it
    check, check off, mark, mark off, tick, tick off
    put a check mark on or near or next to
    check
    verify by consulting a source or authority
    ascertain, check, determine, find out, learn, see, watch
    find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort
    verify
    check or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or comparing with another standard
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    proof, proofread
    read for errors
    double-check
    check once more to be absolutely sure
    cross-check
    check out conflicting sources; crosscheck facts, for example
    cinch
    make sure of
    card
    ask someone for identification to determine whether he or she is old enough to consume liquor
    spot-check
    pick out random samples for examination in order to ensure high quality
    cover
    maintain a check on; especially by patrolling
    type of:
    verify
    confirm the truth of
  10. verb
    handle and cause to function
    control the lever”
    synonyms: operate
    master
    have a firm understanding or knowledge of; be on top of
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    synchronise, synchronize
    operate simultaneously
    dial
    operate a dial to select a telephone number
    turn
    alter the functioning or setting of
    submarine
    control a submarine
    treadle
    operate (machinery) by a treadle
    relay
    control or operate by relay
    gate
    control with a valve or other device that functions like a gate
    pedal
    operate the pedals on a keyboard instrument
    drive
    operate or control a vehicle
    aviate, fly, pilot
    operate an airplane
    coach
    drive a coach
    test drive
    test a vehicle by driving it
    fly blind
    fly an airplane solely by relying on instruments
    fly contact
    fly a plane by using visible landmarks or points of reference
    solo
    fly alone, without a co-pilot or passengers
    test fly
    test a plane
    jet
    fly a jet plane
    glide
    fly in or as if in a glider plane
    hydroplane, seaplane
    glide on the water in a hydroplane
    balloon
    ride in a hot-air balloon
    flat-hat, hedgehop
    fly very close to the ground
    hang glide, soar
    fly by means of a hang glider
    drive
    move by being propelled by a force
    tool
    drive
    type of:
    manipulate
    hold something in one's hands and move it
  11. verb
    control (others or oneself) or influence skillfully, usually to one's advantage
    “She is a very controlling mother and doesn't let her children grow up”
    synonyms: keep in line, manipulate
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    tease
    arouse hope, desire, or curiosity without satisfying them
    handle
    show and train
    ingratiate
    gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts
    cotton up, cozy up, play up, shine up, sidle up, suck up
    ingratiate oneself to; often with insincere behavior
    type of:
    interact
    act together or towards others or with others
  12. noun
    a standard against which other conditions can be compared in a scientific experiment
    “the control condition was inappropriate for the conclusions he wished to draw”
    synonyms: control condition
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    type of:
    criterion, standard
    the ideal in terms of which something can be judged
  13. verb
    check or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or comparing with another standard
    “Are you controlling for the temperature?”
    synonyms: verify
    ascertain, assure, check, ensure, insure, see, see to it
    be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something
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    essay, examine, prove, test, try, try out
    put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to
  14. noun
    discipline in personal and social activities
    “she never lost control of herself”
    synonyms: restraint
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    Antonyms:
    unrestraint
    the quality of lacking restraint
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    self-restraint, temperateness
    exhibiting restraint imposed on the self
    moderation, temperance
    the trait of avoiding excesses
    inhibition
    the quality of being inhibited
    continence
    voluntary control over urinary and fecal discharge
    stiff upper lip
    self-restraint in the expression of emotion (especially fear or grief)
    dryness, sobriety
    moderation in or abstinence from alcohol or other drugs
    abstemiousness
    moderation in eating and drinking
    taboo, tabu
    an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion
    type of:
    discipline
    the trait of being well behaved
  15. verb
    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
    control your anger”
    synonyms: check, contain, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
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    bound, confine, limit, restrain, restrict, throttle, trammel
    place limits on (extent or access)
    conquer, curb, inhibit, stamp down, subdue, suppress
    to put down by force or authority
    damp
    restrain or discourage
    crucify, mortify, subdue
    hold within limits and control
    abnegate, deny
    deny oneself (something); restrain, especially from indulging in some pleasure
    restrict
    place under restrictions; limit access to
    train
    cause to grow in a certain way by tying and pruning it
    catch
    check oneself during an action
    bate
    moderate or restrain; lessen the force of
    thermostat
    control the temperature with a thermostat
    counteract, countercheck
    oppose or check by a counteraction
    blink, blink away, wink
    force to go away by blinking
    reduce, tighten
    narrow or limit
    tie
    limit or restrict to
    gate
    restrict (school boys') movement to the dormitory or campus as a means of punishment
    draw a line, draw the line
    reasonably object (to) or set a limit (on)
    mark off, mark out
    set boundaries to and delimit
    harness, rein, rule
    keep in check
    baffle, regulate
    check the emission of (sound)
    cramp, halter, hamper, strangle
    prevent the progress or free movement of
    dampen, stifle
    smother or suppress
    choke back, choke down, choke off
    suppress
    constrain, stiffen, tighten, tighten up
    restrict
    clamp down, crack down
    repress or suppress (something regarded as undesirable)
    hush, hush up, quieten, shut up, silence, still
    cause to be quiet or not talk
    constrict, inhibit
    limit the range or extent of
    burke
    get rid of, silence, or suppress
    silence
    keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure
    quell, quench, squelch
    suppress or crush completely
    constrain, cumber, encumber, restrain
    hold back
    muffle, repress, smother, stifle, strangle
    conceal or hide
    mortify
    practice self-denial of one's body and appetites
    classify
    declare unavailable, as for security reasons
    taboo
    declare as sacred and forbidden
    trellis
    train on a trellis, as of a vine
    scant, skimp
    limit in quality or quantity
    localise, localize
    restrict something to a particular area
    type of:
    hold back, keep, keep back, restrain
    keep under control; keep in check
  16. noun
    great skillfulness and knowledge of some subject or activity
    synonyms: command, mastery
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    type of:
    skillfulness
    the state of being cognitively skillful
  17. verb
    have a firm understanding or knowledge of; be on top of
    “Do you control these data?”
    synonyms: master
    operate
    handle and cause to function
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    cinch
    get a grip on; get mastery of
    type of:
    know
    know how to do or perform something
  18. noun
    a spiritual agency that is assumed to assist the medium during a seance
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    type of:
    disembodied spirit, spirit
    any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible (or audible) to human beings
  19. verb
    verify by using a duplicate register for comparison
    control an account”
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    type of:
    ascertain, assure, check, ensure, insure, see, see to it
    be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something
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