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 Why Bay Area experts are praising a new CDC guideline halting COVID quarantines for fully vaccinated people. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Briefing: The Bay Area police killing that barely registered," 12 Feb. 2021 But 10 days is just a general guideline, with viral shedding able to continue for longer. Ben Church, CNN, "US tennis player Tennys Sandgren boards plane to Australian Open despite testing positive for Covid-19," 14 Jan. 2021 This is just a guideline, however, since other factors influence the exact amount of food your dog needs. Lauren Corona,, "The best Merrick dog food," 23 Dec. 2020 That guideline will apply all the way through the state semifinals. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "How will UIL handle COVID-19 issues during TXHSFB playoffs? Here’s what we know about a postseason with no guarantees," 11 Nov. 2020 But it’s a guideline, Benjamin says, not a hard rule. Popular Science, "To get vaccines to more people, the priority system needs to loosen up," 21 Jan. 2021 This is an important distinction, especially given the demonstrable long-term health effects of COVID-19 that extend beyond the respiratory symptoms stated in the guideline. Amanda French, The Atlantic, "We Don’t Know How Many People Have Recovered From COVID-19," 14 Jan. 2021 Find a good gardening calendar to use as your guideline, and keep your own personal records. Neil Sperry,, "Neil Sperry: Pruning redtip photinias too much a big mistake," 10 Dec. 2020 Thompson did not say how the university would enforce this guideline. Chris Quintana, USA TODAY, "Students are still traveling for Thanksgiving break. Colleges fear they'll spread COVID.," 19 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of guideline

1785, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for guideline

Time Traveler

The first known use of guideline was in 1785

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Statistics for guideline

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guideline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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

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Comments on guideline

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