Definition of regulate in English:



  • 1 Control or maintain the rate or speed of (a machine or process) so that it operates properly.

    ‘a hormone which regulates metabolism’
    • ‘Intense training tears muscle fibers and depletes muscles of essential amino acids that are needed to help regulate metabolism.’
    • ‘Depression stiffens the body's response to insulin, the hormone that helps regulate energy metabolism.’
    • ‘In that case the fan speed is actually regulated by the processor's internal temperature.’
    • ‘A genetic time clock that regulates the number of times a human body cell divides cannot, however, be the whole explanation of the aging process.’
    • ‘Both processes are regulated by genetic and environmental factors.’
    • ‘Drugs that regulate the activity of these genes might be effective for these patients, the researchers said.’
    • ‘The thyroid hormones regulate every aspect of your metabolism, from your heart rate to how quickly you burn calories.’
    • ‘Day length is usually the most critical factor in regulating vegetative growth, flower initiation and development, and the induction of dormancy.’
    • ‘Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to regulate sugar metabolism.’
    • ‘This small metal container houses a battery and the electrical circuitry that regulates the rate of electrical pulses sent to your heart.’
    • ‘Iodine is the backbone of all nutrients because the cells in the body need it to regulate their metabolism.’
    • ‘Your pancreas secretes enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates.’
    • ‘He slipped inside and, struggling to think over the deafening noise of the generator, he found the control panel that regulated the machine and switched it off.’
    • ‘Each skate has two bearings in each wheel, regulating the speed at which the wheels spin.’
    • ‘Water is necessary to transport nutrients around the body, remove wastes, maintain body temperatures and regulate metabolic processes in our bodies.’
    • ‘The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and secrete hormones that regulate metabolism, salt and water balance, and stress responses.’
    • ‘Thyroxine helps regulate your body's metabolism, including how quickly you burn calories.’
    • ‘They found that a few spices - especially cinnamon - made fat cells much more responsive to insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar metabolism and thus controls the level of glucose in the blood.’
    • ‘Here's another problem to be going on with though - how do you use petrol flow to regulate the speed of a particular car?’
    • ‘The anterior lobe regulates the activity of the thyroid, adrenals, and reproductive glands.’
    control, adjust, manage, balance, set, synchronize, modulate, tune
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    1. 1.1Control (something, especially a business activity) by means of rules and regulations.
      ‘the Code regulates the takeovers of all public companies’
      • ‘As governor, he introduced a number of reforms regulating child labour and preventing abuses in sweatshops.’
      • ‘Mechanisms to regulate competition among firms that conduct business transactions are intrinsic to every market governance system.’
      • ‘Reef managers created a system of zoning that regulates activities in different places that are sensitive to different pressures.’
      • ‘Third, Congress has the power to regulate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce.’
      • ‘Today our development activities are highly regulated - and rightly so in many respects.’
      • ‘Federal rules for regulating professionals have existed for many years, but have been exercised with deference toward state standards.’
      • ‘Mr. Nair recommends that the best possible remedy to check sand mining is to regulate construction activities.’
      • ‘Until recently, it was not possible to easily regulate internet activity.’
      • ‘The health ministry says it is difficult because there is no legal framework that regulates the work of those organisations involved in caring for infected people.’
      • ‘Often governments for a variety of reasons decide to regulate the activities of firms that compete against each other.’
      • ‘In contrast, no previous treaty or customary rule existed regulating method of combat in internal armed conflict.’
      • ‘Some statutory rules and regulations are included to regulate court procedure, for example rules relating to the admissibility of evidence and the burden of proof.’
      • ‘Data flows into and out of Europe would be properly regulated and controlled to ensure that neither spam nor viruses came in, and that no personal data went out without explicit consent.’
      • ‘Here groups of workers are substantially left to regulate their own activity.’
      • ‘One can only suspect that both the US and the EU are responding to pressure from business leaders not to regulate their overseas activities.’
      • ‘Caught off guard, the government scrambled to develop a policy to regulate this new medium of communication.’
      • ‘The price of bread and the wages of labour were regulated by the local justices of the peace in order to protect consumers and workers from exploitation.’
      • ‘Water vending machines are regulated by local authorities.’
      • ‘Therefore, government must regulate businesses in the ‘public interest.’’
      • ‘States can regulate certain activities and require citizens to apply for a license with restrictions on who can receive a license.’
      supervise, oversee, police, superintend, monitor, keep an eye on, inspect, administer, be responsible for
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    2. 1.2Set (a clock or other apparatus) according to an external standard.
      ‘the standard time by which other clocks were regulated’
      • ‘Clocks were regulated by electricity to Greenwich mean time.’
      • ‘Mr. Davies came every Friday to wind and regulate the clocks.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘control by rules’): from late Latin regulat- directed, regulated, from the verb regulare, from Latin regula rule.