A rule or regulation is a prescribed guide for conduct or action.
It is similar in effect to an order or command, but differs in that a rule is not given on an individual occasion but is valid for a long period of time, usually for as long as the person is in the same role and position within the hierarchy. Rules are given and enforced by another person who is in authority.
For example, parents may declare "house rules" that must be followed by members of the family (such as "no swearing" or rules referring to table manners). A child, teenager, wife, or husband may break a rule. Disobedience to a rule is known as "breaking" the rule, and punishment may the consequence of it. In family life, punishment for disobedience may include extra chores, writing lines, corner time, or a spanking. Punishment in the household may be called domestic discipline.
In spanking stories, a common scene is the teenager sent to the woodshed for breaking a rule. A parent orders the teenager to drop his pants or raise her skirt. The teenager bends over a chair while the parent takes a strap to the buttocks. Domestic discipline can also refer to a husband breaking a rule. The wife may bend her husband over the kitchen table, drop his pants, and spank him with his belt. There are countless variations on these themes.
"Rule" can also refer to:
- a rule in mathematics
- a law
- a court ruling
- a social or legal norm
- governance by a government