1. One who rules or reigns; a governor; a ruler.

2. Especially, one invested with vicarious authority; one who governs a kingdom in the minority, absence, or disability of the sovereign.

3. One of a governing board; a trustee or overseer; a superintendent; a curator; as, the regents of the Smithsonian Institution.

4. <engineering> A resident master of arts of less than five years' standing, or a doctor of less than two. They were formerly privileged to lecture in the schools.

5. <zoology> Regent bird, a beautiful Australian bower bird (Sericulus melinus). The male has the head, neck, and large patches on the wings, bright golden yellow, and the rest of the plumage deep velvety black; so called in honor of the Prince of Wales (afterward George IV), who was Prince Regent in the reign of George III.

(12 Mar 1998)