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Regime vs. Regimen—Learn the Difference

  • Regime and regimen are synonyms that share two definitions.
  • Regimen and regime refer to a course of life that follows a specific diet, exercise plan, or other health practice.
  • Regimen and regime both mean a government or system of ruling.

What does regimen mean? What about regime? Are they the same or different? It’s time to find out!

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The meaning of regimen

Do you have a beauty regimen? A regimen is planned routine of actions you take to accomplish something. For example, you might have the goal of having clear skin. Your regimen might include avoiding unhealthy food, washing regularly with a good product, and getting a full night’s sleep. Here are two simple examples to show how to use this word.

The soldiers-in-training maintain a strict regimen of exercise and weightlifting.

The woman received weekly B-vitamin shots as part of her treatment regimen for fatigue.

The meaning of regime

A regime is a government. The word is associated with authoritarianism; it often describes strict governments. The following examples demonstrate how to use regime in this context.

The military regime promoted a sense of community and goodwill among the citizens.

The old regime fell after the civil war.

Regime vs regimen

Are regime and regimen simply commonly confused words? No, regime and regimen are synonyms! Think about the origin of regime. It comes from a Latin word meaning rule. If a governmental regime imposed a set of rules for its subjects, it would be imposing a regimen or a system of doing things. In fact, there is even a related noun and verb: regiment. To regiment is to organize something according to a strict pattern. The noun regiment used to refer to a rule or government too, but now it refers to a military unit. Do you see the connection? Both regime and regimen refer to systematically organized routines and both refer to governing powers. They are doublets, pairs that derive from the same source language but then take different paths.

When to use regime and regimen

How you use regime and regimen may depend on the situation. Americans are more likely than Brits to limit regime to governments and regimen to medical contexts. British writers are more likely to use the terms interchangeably.


Grojsman told reporters that he expected “the European Union to keep its promise to introduce a visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens”.
Total Croatia News

“In 2009, when Lauren Jenai filed to divorce her husband Greg Glassman, they were faced with splitting CrossFit Inc., a branded fitness regimen they founded together in 2000.
Phoenix Business Journal

Working in tandem with New York based Human Rights Foundation (HRF), which has funded similar balloon missions in the past, FFNK distributes illegal content such as political leaflets and banned films to the “hermit state” in order to educate the populace on the world outside of their strict political regime .

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