a person or thing that regulates.
an adjustable device in a clock or a watch for making it go faster or slower.
a master clock, usually of great accuracy, against which other clocks are checked.
a governor mechanism for regulating the flow of fuel, steam, etc., to an engine in order to maintain constant speed under varying load or resistance.
a valve for regulating the pressure of flowing gas or liquid to maintain a predetermined pressure.
any of various mechanisms for maintaining a temperature, a level of liquid in a tank, etc.
Electricity. a device for maintaining a designated characteristic, as voltage or current, at a predetermined value, or for varying it according to a predetermined plan.
a device on scuba equipment for regulating the rate at which compressed air is fed through a breathing tube in proportion to the depth of water.
a device for maintaining a constant gas pressure.
(initial capital letter) American History.
a member of any of several bands or committees in North Carolina (1767–71), formed to resist certain abuses, as extortion by officials.
(in newly settled areas) a member of any band or committee organized to preserve order before the establishment of regular legal authority.

1645–55; regulate + -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
regulator (ˈrɛɡjʊˌleɪtə)
1.  a person or thing that regulates
2.  the mechanism, including the hairspring and the balance wheel, by which the speed of a timepiece is regulated
3.  a timepiece, known to be accurate, by which others are timed and regulated
4.  any of various mechanisms or devices, such as a governor valve, for controlling fluid flow, pressure, temperature, voltage, etc
5.  Also called: regulator gene a gene the product of which controls the synthesis of a product from another gene

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
Regulators from several nations patrol and try to limit pirate fishing.
Their tanks are rusted and their regulators are often faulty.
Drip systems must be kept free of debris and require maintenance of pressure
  regulators, self-cleaning emitters and filters.
Rating agencies have been around for a century, and their ratings have been
  used by regulators since the thirties.
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