Pronunciation: (reg'yu-lā"tur), [key]
1. a person or thing that regulates.
a. an adjustable device in a clock or a watch for making it go faster or slower.
b. a master clock, usually of great accuracy, against which other clocks are checked.
a. a governor mechanism for regulating the flow of fuel, steam, etc., to an engine in order to maintain constant speed under varying load or resistance.
b. a valve for regulating the pressure of flowing gas or liquid to maintain a predetermined pressure.
c. any of various mechanisms for maintaining a temperature, a level of liquid in a tank, etc.
4. Elect.a device for maintaining a designated characteristic, as voltage or current, at a predetermined value, or for varying it according to a predetermined plan.
5. a device on scuba equipment for regulating the rate at which compressed air is fed through a breathing tube in proportion to the depth of water.
6. a device for maintaining a constant gas pressure.
7. (cap.) Amer. Hist.
a. a member of any of several bands or committees in North Carolina (1767–71), formed to resist certain abuses, as extortion by officials.
b. (in newly settled areas) a member of any band or committee organized to preserve order before the establishment of regular legal authority.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.