regency early 15c., from M.L. regentia, from L. regens (see REGENT (Cf. regent)). Notable instances were: France 1715-1723 (under Philip, Duke of Orleans), Britain 1810-1820 (under George, Prince of Wales, Prince Regent), "in each case with suggestion of debauchery" [Weekley]. In reference to the style of that time, attested from 1880 (there is an unexplained use in Jane Austen from 1793). Cf. French equivalent Régence, attested in English from 1919. U.S. Albany Regency refers to dominant political faction in New York state c.1820-1850.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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