Definition of regency in English:



  • 1The office or period of government by a regent.

    • ‘In 1816 John VI succeeded to the two thrones, ruling Portugal through a council of regency.’
    • ‘While various emirs contested with each other over the regency, Amalric was succeeded by his young son Baldwin IV.’
    • ‘When Pedro I abdicated in April 1831 in favour of the boy, Pedro II, Andrada was confirmed as tutor by the council of regency.’
    • ‘The precedents were relatively clear: government would be exercised by a council of regency until the young king was declared ‘of age’.’
    • ‘All thoughts of regency and ruling flew out of his head, however, when the battle raged near them.’
    • ‘An earlier chapter provides the reader with background on the Norman ascendancy through the regency of Adelaide.’
    • ‘He supported William of Orange, though, as a Tory, he favoured a regency.’
    • ‘A contributory factor to the Wars of the Roses was another period of regency caused not by the king's age, but by his insanity.’
    • ‘On 1 November 1944, the impending formation of a united provisional government and of a regency was announced in liberated Belgrade.’
    • ‘He believed that the Liberals were in a better position to weather the regency of Alfonso's widow and prevent Carlist or republican revolts.’
    1. 1.1A commission acting as regent.
      • ‘His baby son, Prince Ahmed Fuad, was proclaimed king and a regency council appointed.’
      • ‘After the sudden death of Charles XI, a five man regency governed Sweden.’
      • ‘Yet according to the constitution, a Grand National Assembly could be summoned only by the king, not the regency nor the Cabinet.’
      • ‘But this could only occur once the charter was brought back to life as a royalist manifesto after John's death by the regency government of Henry III.’
      • ‘Gaston had appointed a regency council who made the rules.’
      • ‘Parliament selected a regency council that excluded the king's uncle and leading lord, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.’
      • ‘When her mother was eventually forced out of the regency, the reigning government saw fit to have Isabella confirmed as a fully independent queen when she was just 13.’
      • ‘The regency was led by Count Magnus de la Gardie, the king's uncle.’
      • ‘Following Alexander's formal abdication in September 1886, Stambolov headed the regency council.’
      • ‘One of the weaknesses of a hereditary monarchy is the possibility of having a monarch who is too young to rule, requiring a regency or protectorate to govern in his name.’
      • ‘When his father renounced the throne in 1927, Michael was made child king at the age of six under the tutelage of a regency.’
    2. 1.2The particular period of a regency, especially (in Britain) from 1811 to 1820 and (in France) from 1715 to 1723.


  • Relating to or denoting British architecture, clothing, and furniture of the Regency or, more widely, of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Regency style was contemporary with the Empire style and shares many of its features: elaborate and ornate, it is generally neoclassical, with a generous borrowing of Greek and Egyptian motifs.

    • ‘Neglected and drab, this once-grand Regency mansion had been the battlefield for a war of attrition between John's mother and father.’
    • ‘Tommy Steele used to fly in to buy Regency furniture from the Organ Brothers.’
    • ‘Stuff like this gives just as much pleasure as a cathedral close or a Regency arcade.’
    • ‘To the right, a painting of Roman soldiers hangs above a Regency chair.’
    • ‘England's Regency style was a natural outgrowth of the neoclassical style that prevailed in eighteenth-century Europe.’
    • ‘But as Regency exuberance yielded to Victorian gentility, his style did not move with public taste, and he began to outlive his popularity.’
    • ‘His patronage lasted to 1827 and resulted in the town's Regency squares and terraces.’
    • ‘They own a Regency mansion in a 25-acre estate in Cheshire, a villa in Spain and a fleet of luxury cars.’
    • ‘In it he depicts the interior of a Scottish cottage, showing Evans and Cattermole in smart Regency dress.’
    • ‘The property takes up the bottom two floors of a Grade II-listed Regency terrace and comes with a share of the freehold.’
    • ‘Apart from the Regency frontages, the interior designs are modern enough while the communal garden in the square's centre will be landscaped for today.’
    • ‘The restaurant is a building she hadn't noticed before, however, situated on a splendid Regency terrace within sight of the city's two cathedrals.’
    • ‘It was inevitable, given the nature of the Regency art market, that Wilkie would gravitate to London and from 1805 until the end of his life it was his home.’
    • ‘The gallery still houses one of the finest surviving suites of Regency giltwood furniture made to commemorate Lord Nelson and his victories.’
    • ‘In the same decade major acquisitions of furniture by the Regency designer George Bullock were made.’
    • ‘The centre of Newcastle was transformed between 1825 and 1840 by these and other local architects into an elegant, late Regency city.’
    • ‘Other than a set of twelve Regency hall chairs painted with the family crests, there was only one piece of importance remaining at Glin.’
    • ‘For his part, John Soane was closely involved with the world of the Regency theatre.’
    • ‘The ground floor of the Regency hunting lodge is cleared of its existing furniture to make way for some strange and interesting pieces.’
    • ‘Standard features include Regency panelled doors, canopy style porches and patio doors to the rear garden.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin regentia, from Latin regent- ruling (see regent).