ground rule


Definition of ground rule 

1 : a sports rule adopted to modify play on a particular field, court, or course

2 : a rule of procedure ground rules for selecting a superintendentAmer. School Board Jour.

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Synonyms for ground rule


bylaw, reg, regulation, rule

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Examples of ground rule in a Sentence

before the debate begins, let's lay out some ground rules

Recent Examples on the Web

Now that everyone's here, Chris Harrison sets the ground rules: Each week there will be Bachelor-style dates. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Bachelor in Paradise Season 5, Episode 1 Recap: All About Colton," 7 Aug. 2018 Preorder users can request a unit and test it for the company, although Jannard sets some serious ground rules for using it. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "RED says Hydrogen One phone will miss summer release date," 8 Aug. 2018 The ground rules are a response to more than 4,500 Googlers signing a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon project called Maven that uses machine learning to interpret drone surveillance video. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Google Sets Limits on Its Use of AI, but Allows Defense Work," 7 June 2018 There are a few ground rules: don't wring the chicken's neck, and no eye-gouging. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Recap: Anthony Bourdain's 'Parts Unknown' Goes to Cajun Country," 18 June 2018 Deja Westbrook slugged a ground rule double down the left field line to put the Apaches on the scoreboard. Steve Goldstein,, "Hernandez, Crescenta Valley softball claim outright Pacific League crown," 10 May 2018 The official spoke on the condition of anonymity under State Department ground rules. John Hudson, Washington Post, "Despite impact on prices, U.S. will aim to bring Iran’s oil revenue to zero," 2 July 2018 If the government wants to negotiate, there are ways to set ground rules to protect the interests of both sides. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "Media Fight Access Restrictions on Child Detention Centers," 27 June 2018 Even the ground rules for the current investigation of President Trump could change. Bob Egelko,, "Kennedy’s departure opens questions about the future of abortion rights," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ground rule.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ground rule

1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ground rule

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for ground rule

The first known use of ground rule was in 1890

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More Definitions for ground rule

ground rule


English Language Learners Definition of ground rule

: a basic rule about what should be done in a particular situation, event, etc.

sports : a special rule about how a game is played on a particular field, court, or course

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Comments on ground rule

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living or existing for a long time

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