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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 well-regulated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And what other feeling in Wentworth's clean, well-regulated, sterilized mind had shown any power of growth?

    Prisoners Mary Cholmondeley
  • The Jungle was as clean and as well-regulated as any city of men the Insect had ever visited.

    The Woggle-Bug Book L. Frank Baum
  • Columbus complains that he has been judged as a governor who has been sent to a peaceful, well-regulated province.

  • It was the regular routine of drinking in well-regulated and temperate families.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • Gradually the full possibilities of the situation were revealing themselves to the well-regulated mind of the junior partner.

    The Prodigal Father J. Storer Clouston
  • He was a man of well-regulated habits, and did not like being taken unawares.

    Viviette William J. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for well-regulated


adjective (well regulated when postpositive)
(of a business, military outfit, routine, etc) controlled or supervised to conform to rules, regulations, tradition, etc: a well-regulated militia


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 well-regulated



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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well-regulated 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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