Definition of regency in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈriːdʒ(ə)nsi/

noun (plural regencies)

1The office of or period of government by a regent: the boy being a minor, there would have to be a regency
More example sentences
  • A contributory factor to the Wars of the Roses was another period of regency caused not by the king's age, but by his insanity.
  • He believed that the Liberals were in a better position to weather the regency of Alfonso's widow and prevent Carlist or republican revolts.
  • An earlier chapter provides the reader with background on the Norman ascendancy through the regency of Adelaide.
1.1A commission acting as regent.
Example sentences
  • When her mother was eventually forced out of the regency, the reigning government saw fit to have Isabella confirmed as a fully independent queen when she was just 13.
  • One of the weaknesses of a hereditary monarchy is the possibility of having a monarch who is too young to rule, requiring a regency or protectorate to govern in his name.
  • But this could only occur once the charter was brought back to life as a royalist manifesto after John's death by the regency government of Henry III.
1.2 (the Regency) The particular period of a regency, especially (in Britain) from 1811 to 1820 and (in France) from 1715 to 1723: the hugely popular Gothic novels of the Regency


(Regency) Relating to or denoting British architecture, clothing, and furniture of the Regency or, more widely, of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Regency style was contemporary with the Empire style and shares many of its features: elaborate and ornate, it is generally neoclassical, with a generous borrowing of Greek and Egyptian motifs.
Example sentences
  • In the same decade major acquisitions of furniture by the Regency designer George Bullock were made.
  • Standard features include Regency panelled doors, canopy style porches and patio doors to the rear garden.
  • England's Regency style was a natural outgrowth of the neoclassical style that prevailed in eighteenth-century Europe.


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin regentia, from Latin regent- 'ruling' (see regent).

  • Between 1811 and 1820 George, Prince of Wales was regent (Late Middle English) for his father King George III, who was suffering from a long-term mental illness. The prince was known for his fun-loving lifestyle and support for the arts, and the period of the Regency was noted for its distinctive fashions and architecture—such as, for example, the wildly exotic Brighton Pavilion designed by John Nash. The balls and parties held by the aristocracy of the time are imagined in the romantic historical novels set in this period and called Regency romances. The source of regency is Latin regere ‘to govern, rule’, which means it is related to words like regal (Late Middle English) ‘like a ruler’; rector (Late Middle English) ‘governor’( see vicar); regime (Late Middle English) ‘rule or regulation’; regiment (Late Middle English) which originally had the same sense as regime; region (Middle English) an area governed; regular (Late Middle English) originally ‘governed by a rule’; royal; and rule.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|gency

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