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control (v.)

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).

control (n.)

1580s, "act of keeping under authority and regulation, fact of checking and directing action," from control (v.). Meaning "a check, restraint" is from 1590s. Meaning "a standard of comparison in scientific experiments" is by 1857, probably from German Controleversuche. Airport control tower is from 1920; control-room is from 1897. Control freak "person who feels an obsessive need to have command of any situation" is by 1969.

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Definitions of control from WordNet
1
control (n.)
power to direct or determine;
under control
control (n.)
a relation of constraint of one entity (thing or person or group) by another;
measures for the control of disease
they instituted controls over drinking on campus
control (n.)
(physiology) regulation or maintenance of a function or action or reflex etc;
the timing and control of his movements were unimpaired
he had lost control of his sphincters
control (n.)
a standard against which other conditions can be compared in a scientific experiment;
the control condition was inappropriate for the conclusions he wished to draw
Synonyms: control condition
control (n.)
the activity of managing or exerting control over something;
the control of the mob by the police was admirable
control (n.)
the state that exists when one person or group has power over another;
Synonyms: dominance / ascendance / ascendence / ascendancy / ascendency
control (n.)
discipline in personal and social activities;
she never lost control of herself
Synonyms: restraint
control (n.)
great skillfulness and knowledge of some subject or activity;
Synonyms: command / mastery
control (n.)
a mechanism that controls the operation of a machine;
I turned the controls over to her
Synonyms: controller
control (n.)
a spiritual agency that is assumed to assist the medium during a seance;
control (n.)
the economic policy of controlling or limiting or curbing prices or wages etc.;
they wanted to repeal all the legislation that imposed economic controls
2
control (v.)
exercise authoritative control or power over;
control the budget
Synonyms: command
control (v.)
lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits;
control your anger
Synonyms: hold in / hold / contain / check / curb / moderate
control (v.)
handle and cause to function;
control the lever
Synonyms: operate
control (v.)
maintain influence over (others or oneself) skillfully, usually to one's advantage;
She is a very controlling mother and doesn't let her children grow up
Synonyms: manipulate / keep in line
control (v.)
check or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or comparing with another standard;
Are you controlling for the temperature?
Synonyms: verify
control (v.)
place under restrictions; limit access to by law;
this substance is controlled
Synonyms: restrict
control (v.)
verify by using a duplicate register for comparison;
control an account
control (v.)
be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something;
control the quality of the product
Synonyms: see / check / insure / see to it / ensure / ascertain / assure
control (v.)
have a firm understanding or knowledge of; be on top of;
Do you control these data?
Synonyms: master
From wordnet.princeton.edu