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control - definition and synonyms


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verb [transitive] control pronunciation in American English /kənˈtroʊl/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlecontrolling
past tensecontrolled
past participlecontrolled
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  1. 1
    to have the power to make decisions and decide what will happen to something

    A rebel army was now controlling the northern half of the country.

    Most of the news media were controlled by the central government.

  2. 2
    to make a machine, system, vehicle, etc. move or operate in the way that you want it to

    I hit a patch of ice and couldn’t control the car.

    The flow of water is controlled by a series of valves.

  3. 3
    to make people behave in the way that you want them to behave

    New teachers often find it difficult to control their classes.

    The generals who seized power used terror to control the people.

  4. 4
    to keep something at the correct level

    the parts of the brain that control our breathing

    1. a.
      to prevent something from increasing too much or too quickly
      tightly/strictly controlled:

      Spending in the company was tightly controlled.

  5. 5
    to prevent something harmful from spreading or becoming more dangerous

    We must do more to control the spread of the virus.

  6. 6
    to remain calm and not show that you are angry or upset

    Carol struggled to control her anger.

    I could hardly control my temper.

    control yourself:

    If you can’t learn to control yourself, you’ll have to leave.


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