by the rules


: in the way that is most common, expected, and acceptable
After years of boredom, he grew tired of living by the rules.
She has always played by the rules throughout her career.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web If members do not abide by the rules, the guild can impose discipline for violations, including but not limited to, expulsion or suspension from membership, imposition of monetary fines or censure. Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 May 2023 And hey, just spitballing here, but maybe the next big pile of money should actually go to, say, the millions of college students who played by the rules and are now shackled with a lodestone of debt rather than going to the same old band of rich narcissists who put us in this hole. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 1 Apr. 2023 And like all great detectives, Lester was not one to play by the rules — as evidenced by his helping Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) concoct a fake serial killer to get more funding for other legitimate police cases. Ew Staff,, 17 Mar. 2023 Yang addressed the room of attendees, asking them to abide by the rules of keeping their speeches to 45 seconds in total. Clayton Davis, Variety, 13 Feb. 2023 The Custodia decision sends a signal that the Federal Reserve is not giving companies any points for playing by the rules. Byleo Schwartz, Fortune, 1 Feb. 2023 From Washington’s perspective, such moves are overdue to counter a growing rival that doesn’t play by the rules. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Jan. 2023 Some cashiers still don’t know or care to abide by the rules that require them to sell the pills without asking for ID. Mattie Kahn, Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2022 Farmers say they are being unfairly targeted by the rules while other industries, such as aviation, construction and transportation, are also contributing to emissions and face fewer rules. Fox News, 10 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'by the rules.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near by the rules

Cite this Entry

“By the rules.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

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