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to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.:
to regulate household expenses.
to adjust to some standard or requirement, as amount, degree, etc.:
to regulate the temperature.
to adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation:
to regulate a watch.
to put in good order:
to regulate the digestion.
Contemporary Examples

As Forbes points out, the bill would likely be ruled an unconstitutional attempt to regulate interstate commerce.
North Carolina’s Ridiculous Tesla Ban Josh Dzieza May 15, 2013

Instead, he muses, why not regulate as if all people need guns, everywhere?
NRA Hipster: Give All Kids a Gun Brandy Zadrozny July 22, 2014

A few weeks ago, Reid called a vote on a Constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to regulate money in politics.
Time is Money: How to Fix Outrageous Political Spending Jim Arkedis November 2, 2014

In a reassuring twist, Forbes, that Tea Party precursor, called on the government to regulate production, and quick!
What ‘Bath Salts’ Will—and Won’t—Make You Do Kent Sepkowitz May 31, 2012

And, thanks to other recent court decisions (notably Citizens United and SpeechNow), they are hard to regulate.
The Answer to the McCutcheon Decision Is More Big Money in Politics Jonathan Rauch April 2, 2014

Historical Examples

The steam was kept up by a large boiler, fixed in the fireplace which the doctor was to regulate.
The Funny Side of Physic A. D. Crabtre

Man contemplating the heavens is to regulate his erring life according to them.
Timaeus Plato

The rule of the majority is so very sacred a thing that it is found necessary to regulate it by legerdemain.
The Crater James Fenimore Cooper

We must regulate our proceedings by the proceedings of our Allies.
Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 25, 1914 Various

Now regulate the time of feeding to suit the age of the child and adhere to strict regularity.
The Eugenic Marriage, Vol 2 (of 4) W. Grant Hague

verb (transitive)
to adjust (the amount of heat, sound, etc, of something) as required; control
to adjust (an instrument or appliance) so that it operates correctly
to bring into conformity with a rule, principle, or usage

early 15c., “adjust by rule, control,” from Late Latin regulatus, past participle of regulare “to control by rule, direct,” from Latin regula “rule” (see regular). Meaning “to govern by restriction” is from 1620s. Related: Regulated; regulating.

regulate reg·u·late (rěg’yə-lāt’)
v. reg·u·lat·ed, reg·u·lat·ing, reg·u·lates

To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.

To adjust to a particular specification or requirement.

To adjust a mechanism for accurate and proper functioning.

To put or maintain in order.

reg’u·la’tive or reg’u·la·to’ry (-lə-tôr’ē) adj.
reg’u·la’tor n.


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