Definition of control noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kənˈtrəʊl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtroʊl//
    Experiments and research, Using a computer
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  1. 1  [uncountable] control (of/over somebody/something) the power to make decisions about how a country, an area, an organization, etc. is run The party is expecting to gain control of the council in the next election. The Democrats will probably lose control of Congress. A military junta took control of the country. The city is in the control of enemy forces. The city is under enemy control.
  2. 2  [uncountable] control (of/over somebody/something) the ability to make somebody/something do what you want The teacher had no control over the children. She struggled to keep control of her voice. She lost control of her car on the ice. He got so angry he lost control (= shouted and said or did things he would not normally do). Owing to circumstances beyond our control, the flight to Rome has been cancelled. The coach made the team work hard on ball control (= in a ball game). see also self-control
  3. limiting/managing
  4. 3  [uncountable, countable] control (of/on something) (often in compounds) the act of restricting, limiting or managing something; a method of doing this traffic control talks on arms control government controls on trade and industry A new advance has been made in the control of malaria. Price controls on food were ended. a pest control officer see also birth control, quality control Synonymslimitrestriction control constraint restraint limitationThese are all words for something that limits what you can do or what can happen.limit the greatest or smallest amount of something that is allowed:The EU has set strict limits on pollution levels. the speed limitrestriction (rather formal) a rule or law that limits what you can do:There are no restrictions on the amount of money you can withdraw.control (often in compounds) the act of limiting or managing something; a method of doing this:arms controlconstraint (rather formal) a fact or decision that limits what you can do:We have to work within severe constraints of time and money.restraint (rather formal) a decision, a rule, an idea, etc. that limits what you can do; the act of limiting something because it is necessary or sensible to do so:The government has imposed export restraints on some products. The unions are unlikely to accept any sort of wage restraint.limitation the act or process of limiting something; a rule, fact or condition that limits something:They would resist any limitation of their powers.restriction, constraint, restraint or limitation? These are all things that limit what you can do. A restriction is rule or law that is made by somebody in authority. A constraint is something that exists rather than something that is made, although it may exist as a result of somebody’s decision. A restraint is also something that exists: it can exist outside yourself, as the result of somebody else’s decision; but it can also exist inside you, as a fear of what other people may think or as your own feeling about what is acceptable:moral/​social/​cultural restraints. A limitation is more general and can be a rule that somebody makes or a fact or condition that exists.Patterns limits/​restrictions/​controls/​constraints/​restraints/​limitations on something limits/​limitations to something severe limits/​restrictions/​controls/​constraints/​restraints/​limitations tight limits/​restrictions/​controls/​constraints to impose/​remove limits/​restrictions/​controls/​constraints/​restraints/​limitations to lift restrictions/​controls/​constraints/​restraints
  5. in machine
  6. 4  [countable, usually plural] the switches and buttons, etc. that you use to operate a machine or a vehicle the controls of an aircraft the control panel the volume control of a CD player The co-pilot was at the controls when the plane landed. a car with dual control(s) (= one set of controls for the driver and one for the instructor). see also remote control
  7. in experiment
  8. 5[countable] (specialist) a person, thing or group used as a standard of comparison for checking the results of a scientific experiment; an experiment whose result is known, used for checking working methods The study showed that women with the disease have had fewer children than the controls. One group was treated with the new drug, and the control group was given a sugar pill. See related entries: Experiments and research
  9. place
  10. 6[singular] a place where orders are given or where checks are made; the people who work in this place air traffic control We went through passport control and into the departure lounge. This is Mission Control calling the space shuttle Discovery.
  11. on computer
  12. 7[uncountable] (also control key [singular]) (on a computer keyboard) a key that you press when you want to perform a particular operation Wordfinderbackspace, click, control, cursor, escape, keyboard, return, shift, slash, space bar See related entries: Using a computer
  13. Word Origin late Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘check or verify accounts’, especially by referring to a duplicate register): from Anglo-Norman French contreroller ‘keep a copy of a roll of accounts’, from medieval Latin contrarotulare, from contrarotulus ‘copy of a roll’, from contra- ‘against’ + rotulus ‘a roll’. The noun is perhaps via French contrôle.Extra examples Chief Air Officer Sedley was at the controls of the Boeing 707. Editors do not exercise control over large sections of their newspapers. Enemy forces have now regained control of the area. Everything is under control He defended the tradition of civilian control over the military. He lost control of the car when he swerved to avoid a bicycle. He wants to hand over control of social security to the private sector. He’s a real control freak. I had this feeling that things were out of control. Many teenagers have poor impulse control. New crime control measures have failed. Once we were in the air, I was allowed to take the controls. Parking is outside my control. The car went out of control on the icy road. The country has tightened its border controls. The department was under the control of Bryce Thompson. The elected government is back in control. The event has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control. The government has imposed strict controls on new building. The idea is to give councils full control of their own budgets. The police are experts in crowd control. They have introduced controls on public spending. They have little control over that side of the business. They soon got the situation under control. Weeds should be kept under strict control. a programmable control unit attempts to wrest control of the town from government forces calls for tougher export controls government plans to centralize control of schools plans to relax price controls the air traffic control tower the water pressure control valve A pest control officer was called in to deal with the rat problem. He got so angry he lost control. Practical measures such as quality control and testing are very important in the manufacturing process. The aim is to give people more control over their own lives. The city is under enemy control. The coach made the team work hard on ball control. The family has sold most of its shares and will lose control of the company. a reliable method of birth controlIdioms
      be in control (of something)
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    1. 1  to direct or manage an organization, an area or a situation He's reached retiring age, but he's still firmly in control. There has been some violence after the match, but the police are now in control of the situation.
    2. 2  to be able to organize your life well and keep calm In spite of all her family problems, she's really in control.
    be/get/run/etc. out of control
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     to be or become impossible to manage or to control The children are completely out of control since their father left. A truck ran out of control on the hill.
     to be being dealt with successfully Don't worry—everything's under control!
    bring/get/keep something under control
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     to succeed in dealing with something so that it does not cause any damage or hurt anyone It took two hours to bring the fire under control. Please keep your dog under control!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: control