guide·​line | \ ˈgīd-ˌlīn How to pronounce guideline (audio) \

Definition of guideline

: a line by which one is guided: such as
a : a cord or rope to aid a passer over a difficult point or to permit retracing a course
b : an indication or outline of policy or conduct

Examples of guideline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The swimsuit competition was eliminated from Miss Alabama this year, to accord with new guidelines from the Miss America organization. Mary Colurso |,, "Miss Alabama 2019: Tiara Pennington is ready to rule," 14 June 2019 But since not all pumpkin spice products are created equal, here are some guidelines on what to look: Choose products that actually have pumpkin as the first or second ingredient. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Pumpkin Health Benefits Every Fall Lover Needs to Know About," 14 June 2019 Long-Term Care Investments is planning to build five small houses with 12 beds each, a community center and a courtyard, a proposal that meets new state guidelines that call for smaller buildings rather than one, large building. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Planned Merrillville nursing facility wins town approval," 13 June 2019 Public-interest groups said that fifty thousand people submitted comments after organizations pointed out that the new guidelines did not prohibit wireless technology or connections to telecommunications networks. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Mitch McConnell is Making the 2020 Election Open Season for Hackers," 12 June 2019 The General Assembly is looking to impose stricter guidelines on zip lines and high ropes courses after some deaths in the state. USA TODAY, "High Line milestones, Iowa’s big stink, Muscle Beach makeover: News from around our 50 states," 11 June 2019 The new guidelines aim to help cut the nearly 40,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. each year. NBC News, "Daily HIV prevention pill urged for healthy people at risk, new guidelines say," 11 June 2019 The audit called for greater financial and administrative oversight of the city's contract with Experience Scottsdale, and recommended restrictions or guidelines on travel expenses, compensation and overhead costs. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Scottsdale tourism executive tops metro Phoenix for pay. Some residents are asking why," 10 June 2019 Last week, the district sent out the new guidelines to all the Humboldt County school districts. Ruth Schneider, The Mercury News, "California releases air quality guidelines for schools dealing with wildfire smoke," 9 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of guideline

1785, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about guideline

Statistics for guideline

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for guideline

The first known use of guideline was in 1785

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for guideline



English Language Learners Definition of guideline

: a rule or instruction that shows or tells how something should be done


guide·​line | \ ˈgīd-ˌlīn How to pronounce guideline (audio) \

Kids Definition of guideline

: a rule about how something should be done

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on guideline

What made you want to look up guideline? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!