Meaning of “regulate” in the English Dictionary

"regulate" in British English

See all translations

regulateverb [ T ]

uk /ˈreɡ.jə.leɪt/ us /ˈreɡ.jə.leɪt/

C1 to control something, especially by making it work in a particular way:

You can regulate the temperature in the house by adjusting the thermostat.
[ + question word ] Her mother strictly regulates how much TV she can watch.

More examples

  • Police can invoke the law of trespass to regulate access to these places.
  • This valve regulates the flow of water into the tank.
  • The travel industry is regulated by a set of guidelines.
  • The switch is used to regulate the speed at which the machine operates.
  • The government has introduced new laws to regulate the sale of firearms.

(Definition of “regulate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"regulate" in American English

See all translations

regulateverb [ T ]

us /ˈreɡ·jəˌleɪt/

to control an activity or process by rules or a system:

[ + question word ] Their parents regulate how much TV the children can watch.

Regulate also means to adjust something to a desired level or standard:

As a diabetic, she regulates her sugar intake carefully.
adjective [ not gradable ] us /ˌreɡ·jəˈleɪ·ʃən/

Soldiers wear a regulation uniform.

(Definition of “regulate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"regulate" in Business English

See all translations

regulateverb [ T ]

uk /ˈreɡjəleɪt/ us GOVERNMENT, LAW

to check that the activities of a business or organization are legal and follow official rules or laws:

Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce.
The agency regulates the financial services industry.
This government does not trust the public sector to regulate itself.


(Definition of “regulate” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)