1. a law, rule, or other order prescribed by authority, especially to regulate conduct.
  2. the act of regulating or the state of being regulated.
  3. Machinery. the percentage difference in some quantity related to the operation of an apparatus or machine, as the voltage output of a transformer or the speed of a motor, between the value of the quantity at no-load operation and its value at full-load operation.
  4. Electronics. the difference between maximum and minimum voltage drops between the anode and the cathode of a gas tube for a specified range of values of the anode current.
  5. Sports. the normal, prescribed duration of a game according to the sport's regulations, exclusive of any extra innings, overtime period, etc.: The Knicks tied the score in the final seconds of regulation, sending the game into overtime.
  1. prescribed by or conforming to regulation: regulation army equipment.
  2. usual; normal; customary: the regulation decorations for a Halloween party.

Origin of regulation

First recorded in 1665–75; regulate + -ion
Related formsnon·reg·u·la·tion, nouno·ver·reg·u·la·tion, nounre·reg·u·la·tion, nounsu·per·reg·u·la·tion, noun

Synonyms for regulation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for overregulation


  1. the act or process of regulating
  2. a rule, principle, or condition that governs procedure or behaviour
  3. a governmental or ministerial order having the force of law
  4. embryol the ability of an animal embryo to develop normally after its structure has been altered or damaged in some way
  5. (modifier) as required by official rules or procedureregulation uniform
  6. (modifier) normal; usual; conforming to accepted standardsa regulation haircut
  7. electrical engineering the change in voltage occurring when a load is connected across a power supply, caused by internal resistance (for direct current) or internal impedance (alternating current)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for overregulation



1670s, "act of regulating; state of being reduced to order," noun of action from regulate. Meaning "rule for management" is from 1715. Related: Regulations.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

overregulation in Medicine


  1. The act of regulating or the state of being regulated.
  2. A principle, rule, or law designed to control or govern conduct.
  3. A governmental order having the force of law.
  4. The capacity of an embryo to continue normal development following injury to or alteration of a structure.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

overregulation in Culture


Laws through which governments can control privately owned businesses.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.