1610s, "to bring together and compare, examine critically as to agreement," from Latin collatus, irregular past participle of conferre "to bring together," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see com-) + lātus "borne, carried" (see oblate (n.)), serving as past participle of ferre "to bear" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry"). Specifically, in bookbinding, "to verify the correct arrangement" (of the pages), 1770. Related: Collated; collating.
mid-13c., confirmyn, confermen "to ratify, sanction, make valid by a legal act," from Old French confermer (13c., Modern French confirmer) "strengthen, establish, consolidate; affirm by proof or evidence; anoint (a king)," from Latin confirmare "make firm, strengthen, establish," from assimilated form of com"together," but here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + firmare "to strengthen," from firmus "strong, steadfast" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support").
From mid-14c. as "make firm or more firm, add strength to;" late 14c. as "make certain or sure, give an assurance of truth, verify." Related: Confirmative; confirmatory.
early 15c., countrollen, "to check the accuracy of, verify; to regulate," from Anglo-French contreroller "exert authority," from Medieval Latin contrarotulus "a counter, register," from Latin contra "against" (see contra) + rotulus, diminutive of rota "wheel" (see roll (n.)). The word apparently comes from a medieval method of checking accounts by a duplicate register.
Un contrerollour qui doit contre roller au tresorere de la garderobe toutz lez receitez. [Household ordinances of Edward II, c. 1310]
Sense of "dominate, direct, exercise control over" is from mid-15c. Related: Controlled; controlling. Control group in scientific experiments is attested from 1952 (from a sense of control attested since 1875).