If you declare that Fridays are Pajama Day, did you create a regulation? No. A regulation is a rule put in place by some authority, such as a government. In fact, there might already be a regulation on the books: No pajamas in school.

If you're trying to remember what a regulation is, think about the phrase "rules and regulations." Regulations are often set by governing bodies of a sport or other activity — thus, there is an accepted regulation-size soccer ball, set by FIFA, professional soccer's governing body. Many government agencies are in charge of "regulating" industries, setting up regulations that companies need to follow to keep us all safe.

Primary Meanings of regulation

the act of bringing to uniformity; making regular
prescribed by or according to regulation
(embryology) the ability of an early embryo to continue normal development after its structure has been somehow damaged or altered
Full Definitions of regulation

n the act of bringing to uniformity; making regular

regularisation, regularization
Type of:
the activity of managing or exerting control over something

n the act of controlling or directing according to rule

“fiscal regulations are in the hands of politicians”
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an official lowering of a nation's currency; a decrease in the value of a country's currency relative to that of foreign countries
gun control
efforts to regulate or control sales of guns
a system of economic regulation: wages and interest are tied to the cost-of-living index in order to reduce the effects of inflation
the regulation of occurrence, pace, or coordination to achieve a desired effect (as in music, theater, athletics, mechanics)
limitation, restriction
an act of limiting or restricting (as by regulation)
the regulation of diverse elements into an integrated and harmonious operation
cutting off the electric current on certain lines when the demand becomes greater than the supply
arms control
a limitation on the size and armament of the armed forces of a country
a limitation or constraint
fixing (of prices or wages etc) at a particular level
sudden restriction on an activity
Type of:
the activity of managing or exerting control over something

n an authoritative rule

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game law
a regulation intended to manage or preserve game animals
age limit
regulation establishing the maximum age for doing something or holding some position
the regulation of weights and measures of articles offered for sale
speed limit
regulation establishing the top speed permitted on a given road
Type of:
prescript, rule
prescribed guide for conduct or action

n a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior

“short haircuts were the regulation
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limitation, restriction
a principle that limits the extent of something
guideline, guidepost, rule of thumb
a rule or principle that provides guidance to appropriate behavior
cy pres, cy pres doctrine, rule of cy pres
a rule that when literal compliance is impossible the intention of a donor or testator should be carried out as nearly as possible
working principle, working rule
a rule that is adequate to permit work to be done
a restriction of range or scope
a limitation imposed on the variables of a proposition (as by the quantifiers `some' or `all' or `no')
a rule or condition that limits freedom
Type of:
concept, conception, construct
an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances

n the state of being controlled or governed

Type of:
ascendance, ascendancy, ascendence, ascendency, control, dominance
the state that exists when one person or group has power over another

adj prescribed by or according to regulation

regulation army equipment”
conforming to or constituting a standard of measurement or value; or of the usual or regularized or accepted kind

n (embryology) the ability of an early embryo to continue normal development after its structure has been somehow damaged or altered

Type of:
biological process, organic process
a process occurring in living organisms

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