- 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 [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 limiting/managing
- 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 in machine
- 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 in experiment
- 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 place
- 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. on computer
- 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 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
- 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 to be able to organize your life well and keep calm In spite of all her family problems, she's really in control.