Definition of regency in US English:



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

    • ‘He believed that the Liberals were in a better position to weather the regency of Alfonso's widow and prevent Carlist or republican revolts.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘While various emirs contested with each other over the regency, Amalric was succeeded by his young son Baldwin IV.’
    • ‘He supported William of Orange, though, as a Tory, he favoured a regency.’
    • ‘In 1816 John VI succeeded to the two thrones, ruling Portugal through a council of regency.’
    • ‘All thoughts of regency and ruling flew out of his head, however, when the battle raged near them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An earlier chapter provides the reader with background on the Norman ascendancy through the regency of Adelaide.’
    • ‘On 1 November 1944, the impending formation of a united provisional government and of a regency was announced in liberated Belgrade.’
    1. 1.1 A commission acting as regent.
      • ‘Gaston had appointed a regency council who made the rules.’
      • ‘Following Alexander's formal abdication in September 1886, Stambolov headed the regency council.’
      • ‘After the sudden death of Charles XI, a five man regency governed Sweden.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His baby son, Prince Ahmed Fuad, was proclaimed king and a regency council appointed.’
      • ‘When his father renounced the throne in 1927, Michael was made child king at the age of six under the tutelage of a regency.’
      • ‘Yet according to the constitution, a Grand National Assembly could be summoned only by the king, not the regency nor the Cabinet.’
      • ‘The regency was led by Count Magnus de la Gardie, the king's uncle.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 The 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.’
    • ‘His patronage lasted to 1827 and resulted in the town's Regency squares and terraces.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘The property takes up the bottom two floors of a Grade II-listed Regency terrace and comes with a share of the freehold.’
    • ‘Stuff like this gives just as much pleasure as a cathedral close or a Regency arcade.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ground floor of the Regency hunting lodge is cleared of its existing furniture to make way for some strange and interesting pieces.’
    • ‘In the same decade major acquisitions of furniture by the Regency designer George Bullock were made.’
    • ‘Standard features include Regency panelled doors, canopy style porches and patio doors to the rear garden.’
    • ‘To the right, a painting of Roman soldiers hangs above a Regency chair.’
    • ‘For his part, John Soane was closely involved with the world of the Regency theatre.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘England's Regency style was a natural outgrowth of the neoclassical style that prevailed in eighteenth-century Europe.’
    • ‘In it he depicts the interior of a Scottish cottage, showing Evans and Cattermole in smart Regency dress.’
    • ‘But as Regency exuberance yielded to Victorian gentility, his style did not move with public taste, and he began to outlive his popularity.’
    • ‘The gallery still houses one of the finest surviving suites of Regency giltwood furniture made to commemorate Lord Nelson and his victories.’
    • ‘They own a Regency mansion in a 25-acre estate in Cheshire, a villa in Spain and a fleet of luxury cars.’
    • ‘Tommy Steele used to fly in to buy Regency furniture from the Organ Brothers.’


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