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[reg-yuh-leyt] /ˈrɛg yəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), regulated, regulating.
to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.:
to regulate household expenses.
to adjust to some standard or requirement, as amount, degree, etc.:
to regulate the temperature.
to adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation:
to regulate a watch.
to put in good order:
to regulate the digestion.
Origin of regulate
1620-30; < Late Latin rēgulātus (past participle of rēgulāre). See regula, -ate1
Related forms
[reg-yuh-ley-tiv, -yuh-luh-tiv] /ˈrɛg yəˌleɪ tɪv, -yə lə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
[reg-yuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈrɛg yə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
regulatively, adverb
antiregulatory, adjective
misregulate, verb (used with object), misregulated, misregulating.
nonregulated, adjective
nonregulative, adjective
nonregulatory, adjective
overregulate, verb, overregulated, overregulating.
preregulate, verb (used with object), preregulated, preregulating.
quasi-regulated, adjective
reregulate, verb (used with object), reregulated, reregulating.
unregulated, adjective
unregulative, adjective
unregulatory, adjective
well-regulated, adjective
1. rule, govern, manage, order, adjust, arrange, dispose, conduct. 2. set. 4. systematize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for regulative
Historical Examples
  • Intention in such matters was of primary importance, since all duties were likely to be regulative to some extent.

  • That is 035using teleology as a regulative principle, in Kant's sense of the word.

    Form and Function E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
  • regulative training often calls for rousing words from the teacher.

    Outlines of Educational Doctrine John Frederick Herbart
  • Though not constitutive, yet are they regulative principles.

  • The former is in a sense a regulative and conservative principle which lays down limits beyond which variation may not stray.

    Form and Function E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
  • These regulative principles are known as The Canons of the Syllogism.

  • The second regulative idea of speculative reason is the conception of the universe.

  • For a man's idea of God is fundamental, regulative of all his religious thinking.

    The Teaching of Jesus George Jackson
  • As regulative, they prescribe the problems which the understanding in its search for knowledge is called upon to solve.

  • The psychological idea is, therefore, meaningless and inapplicable, except as the schema of a regulative conception.

British Dictionary definitions for regulative


verb (transitive)
to adjust (the amount of heat, sound, etc, of something) as required; control
to adjust (an instrument or appliance) so that it operates correctly
to bring into conformity with a rule, principle, or usage
Derived Forms
regulative, regulatory, adjective
regulatively, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin rēgulāre to control, from Latin rēgula a ruler
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
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Word Origin and History for regulative



early 15c., "adjust by rule, control," from Late Latin regulatus, past participle of regulare "to control by rule, direct," from Latin regula "rule" (see regular). Meaning "to govern by restriction" is from 1620s. Related: Regulated; regulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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regulative in Medicine

regulate reg·u·late (rěg'yə-lāt')
v. reg·u·lat·ed, reg·u·lat·ing, reg·u·lates

  1. To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.

  2. To adjust to a particular specification or requirement.

  3. To adjust a mechanism for accurate and proper functioning.

  4. To put or maintain in order.

reg'u·la'tive or reg'u·la·to'ry (-lə-tôr'ē) adj.
reg'u·la'tor n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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