Definition of regent in US English:



  • 1A person appointed to administer a country because the monarch is a minor or is absent or incapacitated.

    • ‘The regents administering the country on behalf of the child soon abandoned the city of Akhetaten and the worship of the Aten and returned to Egypt's traditional gods and religious centres.’
    • ‘There was no formal role for a queen to be regent in England when king was incapacitated.’
    • ‘King Frederick died in April 1588 and, his son Christian (who became King Christian IV) still being a child, a regent was appointed.’
    • ‘In 1930, after the empress died, the regent, adopting the throne name Haile Selassie, was crowned emperor.’
    • ‘In Kiev, far from the reach of Byzantium, the regent Olga laid the foundation for the future Russian Empire in 957 when she converted to the Orthodox Church.’
    • ‘He supported Cassander against the regent Polyperchon, and took the war against Eumenes (Polyperchon's appointee as royal general) into central Asia.’
    • ‘No provision existed in the will for the appointment of a single regent.’
    • ‘He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1788-89; when he was declared insane in 1810, his son was appointed regent.’
    • ‘After defeating the Persian cavalry at the foot of Cithaeron, the Greeks under the Spartan regent Pausanias, and eventually over 38,000 hoplites strong, moved down to a position along the Asopos.’
    • ‘Prince Abdullah, the effective regent of Saudi Arabia, placed a soft, plump hand on his young compatriot's shoulder, smiled and spoke of friendship and loyalty.’
    • ‘In 1548 her daughter was contracted to marry the Dauphin Francis and in 1554 Mary was formally appointed regent.’
    • ‘Since both were mere boys, his parents in effect became the regents for the Regent.’
    • ‘Under the regent Prince Shotoku in the late sixth and early seventh centuries there was a bringing together of Buddhism and the indigenous Shinto religion that would color Japanese Buddhism from then on.’
    • ‘The former princess, now regent, stopped laughing and looked down at her small son, an ache at the back of her throat and in the pit of her stomach.’
    • ‘Not even Churchill's great prestige could effect a deal but he was now aware of the pressing need to establish a regency and, on his return to London, pressured King George into appointing Archbishop Damaskinos as regent.’
    • ‘A strong monarch could control the Parlement de Paris but a minor supported by a regent rarely could.’
    • ‘George III became increasingly senile at the end of 1810 and in the following year the prince was appointed regent.’
    • ‘During the drought of 1185, Count Raymond of Tripoli, the regent of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, agreed a truce with Saladin whereby the latter furnished the settlers with all the supplies they needed.’
    • ‘In 1821 he gave his support to the regent Pedro, who was left in charge when his father John VI returned to Portugal.’
    • ‘Until now the affairs of the tribe have been administered by regents.’
  • 2North American A member of the governing body of a university or other academic institution.

    • ‘The university's board of regents approved the constitutional revisions in February 2005.’
    • ‘Ward Connerly, the University of California regent who spearheaded the campaign to end affirmative action, expressed the notion that faculty were not partners but adversaries.’
    • ‘‘The day I was appointed as a regent was probably the proudest day of my life,’ says Sayles.’
    • ‘They also meet quarterly with the chair and the vice chair of the university's board of regents.’
    • ‘Let's hope that appointing UC regents is one area where Arnold doesn't take any of Wilson's advice in the future.’
    • ‘The 19 panel members, including Jiles, were chosen from among the Coordinating Board members, university regents and trustees, college administrators and community leaders.’
    • ‘In other business, the regents asked leaders of the three universities to hold campus discussions about broad issues related to tuition policy.’
    • ‘‘The more contact there can be between academics and regents, the better,’ he says.’
    • ‘One month earlier, the regents had approved a University of Iowa request to implement the same policy.’
    • ‘University of California regents voted last month to make insurance a mandatory requirement for students, believed to be the first such requirement by a major U.S. university system.’
    • ‘University of California regents handed fellow board member and activist Ward Connerly a defeat last month, voting down his proposal to stop funding ethnic graduations and gay freshman orientation.’
    • ‘The regents [of the University of California] have allocated supervision over the content of course catalogues to the Academic Senate.’
    • ‘Senate resolutions must be presented to the regents through the university president.’
    • ‘University of California regents have approved the UC system's first computer science school at the UC-Irvine campus, boosting the profile of a department that has long enjoyed a national reputation.’
    • ‘As subsequently qualified by the university's regents, the new policy proved a victory for the moderate center.’
    • ‘For its hall, Arizona State University and its regents insisted on a budget of about $2,800,000.’
    • ‘University of California regents repeal their ban on affirmative action, hoping to send a welcoming message to minority students.’
    • ‘That is the problem that the regents of the University of Colorado need to begin to address, now.’
    • ‘I have been in communication with members of the university's board of regents, faculty, and administration (as well as friends of the school).’
    • ‘Likewise, some University of Washington regents have suggested that without more effort by the state, the university may want to consider taking fewer students.’


  • postpositive Acting as regent for a monarch.

    ‘the queen regent of Portugal’
    • ‘So she remains something like a regent queen and she continues to have very much a say in what happens to the country.’
    • ‘The king and his regent queen made it their haven for the evenings.’
    • ‘Slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888, by a law that was signed by the regent Princess Isabel.’
    • ‘The queen regent, as you call her, will be sticking around.’
    • ‘Hadrian was always so nosy and loomed over everything that Ayumi did, believing that it was all a part of his job as a regent prince.’
    • ‘And this little boy usurper and his regent mother will not restore a thing.’
    • ‘However, in June 1548 the young monarch was poisoned by his mother, the queen regent, who then placed her lover Khun Worawongse on the throne.’
    • ‘Nepal proclaimed its second new king in two days on Monday, naming regent Prince Gyanendra as monarch following a mysterious palace massacre which has rocked the Himalayan kingdom to its foundations.’
    • ‘Among the dignitaries present were traditional leaders led by King Maxhoba Sandile of AmaRharhabe and Queen regent Bhongolwethu Ndamase of Western Pondoland.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin regent- ‘ruling’, from the verb regere.