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noun \ˈrül\

Simple Definition of rule

  • : a statement that tells you what is or is not allowed in a particular game, situation, etc.

  • : a statement that tells you what is allowed or what will happen within a particular system (such as a language or science)

  • : a piece of advice about the best way to do something

Full Definition of rule

  1. 1 a :  a prescribed guide for conduct or action b :  the laws or regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for observance by its members c :  an accepted procedure, custom, or habit d (1) :  a usually written order or direction made by a court regulating court practice or the action of parties (2) :  a legal precept or doctrine e :  a regulation or bylaw governing procedure or controlling conduct

  2. 2 a (1) :  a usually valid generalization (2) :  a generally prevailing quality, state, or mode <fair weather was the rule yesterday — New York Times> b :  a standard of judgment :  criterion c :  a regulating principle d :  a determinate method for performing a mathematical operation and obtaining a certain result

  3. 3 a :  the exercise of authority or control :  dominion b :  a period during which a specified ruler or government exercises control

  4. 4 a :  a strip of material marked off in units used especially for measuring :  ruler 3, tape measure b :  a metal strip with a type-high face that prints a linear design; also :  a linear design produced by or as if by such a strip

as a rule
  1. :  for the most part :  generally

Examples of rule

  1. I understand the basic rules of chess.

  2. As long as you're living under our roof, you'll follow our rules.

  3. The college has strict rules for qualifying for financial assistance.

  4. The new rule allows employees to dress casually on Fridays.

  5. Under the new rules, casual dress is now allowed.

  6. the company's rules and regulations

  7. It's important to learn the rules of the road before taking your driving test.

  8. It's against the rules to eat during class.

  9. He violated the unwritten rule that you must thank your host before you leave a party.

  10. If you break the rules, you'll be asked to leave.

Origin of rule

Middle English reule, from Anglo-French, from Latin regula straightedge, rule, from regere to keep straight, direct — more at right

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of rule

law, rule, regulation, precept, statute, ordinance, canon mean a principle governing action or procedure. law implies imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority <obey the law>. rule applies to more restricted or specific situations <the rules of the game>. regulation implies prescription by authority in order to control an organization or system <regulations affecting nuclear power plants>. precept commonly suggests something advisory and not obligatory communicated typically through teaching <the precepts of effective writing>. statute implies a law enacted by a legislative body <a statute requiring the use of seat belts>. ordinance applies to an order governing some detail of procedure or conduct enforced by a limited authority such as a municipality <a city ordinance>. canon suggests in nonreligious use a principle or rule of behavior or procedure commonly accepted as a valid guide <the canons of good taste>.




Simple Definition of rule

  • : to have control and power over a country, area, group, etc.

  • : to have great influence over (someone)

  • : to make a legal decision about something

Full Definition of rule


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to exert control, direction, or influence on <the passions that rule our minds> b :  to exercise control over especially by curbing or restraining <rule a fractious horse> <ruled his appetites firmly>

  3. 2 a :  to exercise authority or power over often harshly or arbitrarily <the speaker ruled the legislature with an iron hand> b :  to be preeminent in :  dominate

  4. 3 :  to determine and declare authoritatively; especially :  to command or determine judicially

  5. 4 a (1) :  to mark with lines drawn along or as if along the straight edge of a ruler (2) :  to mark (a line) on a paper with a ruler b :  to arrange in a line

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 a :  to exercise supreme authority b :  to be first in importance or prominence :  predominate <the physical did not rule in her nature — Sherwood Anderson>

  8. 2 :  to exist in a specified state or condition

  9. 3 :  to lay down a legal rule

  10. 4 slang :  to be extremely cool or popular —used as a generalized term of praise or approval <for a little attitude at the right price, sneakers rule — Tish Hamilton>

Examples of rule

  1. The queen ruled for 25 years.

  2. A dynasty ruled over this region during the 11th century.

  3. Who will be the next leader to rule the country?

  4. All of his actions were ruled by his religion.

  5. The court ruled in favor of the defendant.

  6. The jury ruled against the tobacco companies.

  7. How will the court rule on the motion?

  8. The Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional.

  9. The board ruled that her behavior was cheating.

13th Century

First Known Use of rule

13th century

Synonym Discussion of rule

decide, determine, settle, rule, resolve mean to come or cause to come to a conclusion. decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy <she decided to sell her house>. determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something <determined the cause of the problem>. settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty <the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy>. rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority <the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible>. resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something <he resolved to quit smoking>.

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February 14, 2016

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