ru·​bric | \ ˈrü-brik How to pronounce rubric (audio) , -ˌbrik \

Definition of rubric

1a : an authoritative rule especially : a rule for conduct of a liturgical service
b(1) : name, title specifically : the title of a statute
(2) : something under which a thing is classed : category the sensations falling under the general rubric, "pressure"— F. A. Geldard
c : an explanatory or introductory commentary : gloss specifically : an editorial interpolation
2 : a heading of a part of a book or manuscript done or underlined in a color (such as red) different from the rest
3 : an established rule, tradition, or custom
4 : a guide listing specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests

Other Words from rubric

rubric or rubrical \ ˈrü-​bri-​kəl How to pronounce rubric (audio) \ adjective
rubrically \ ˈrü-​bri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce rubric (audio) \ adverb

Did you know?

Centuries ago, whenever manuscript writers inserted special instructions or explanations into a book, they put them in red ink to set them off from the black used in the main text. (They used the same practice to highlight saints' names and holy days in calendars, a practice which gave us the term red-letter day.) Ultimately, such special headings or comments came to be called rubrics, a term that traces back to ruber, the Latin word for "red." While the printing sense remains in use today, rubric also has an extended sense referring to any class or category under which something is organized.

Examples of rubric in a Sentence

the rubrics at the beginning of the chapters are intended to be humorous the rubric, popular among jewelers anyway, that a man should spend a month's salary on his fiancée's engagement ring
Recent Examples on the Web Aggarwal and his collaborators looked at the lowest-risk individuals eligible for screening under that rubric: 35-year-olds who are just barely overweight (with a BMI of 25). Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, 27 July 2022 This is a special Fire Island edition of the 212, T’s rubric devoted to New York institutions that have defined cool for decades, for our Summer Entertaining issue. New York Times, 22 July 2022 Here are a few guidelines to apply this rubric to your own life. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 7 July 2022 In order to attract the best talent, create a hiring rubric, prioritize diversity and offer remote work. Samantha Todd, Forbes, 22 June 2022 In fact, some of the most renowned scientists of the time not only employed the term but created a pseudoscientific rubric to codify people. Wired, 14 July 2022 This means that if Build Back Better is brought to the Senate floor via reconciliation, Republicans could simply reintroduce these energy-exploration amendments using the 2005 rubric. Chris Jacobs, WSJ, 11 July 2022 Putting this all together, Durand-Bush and her colleagues include a simple rubric to evaluate how an athlete is doing in these 11 competencies. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 18 June 2022 The commission’s rubric for compliance focused on the department’s use of force policy, vehicle pursuit policy, training and the department’s willingness to create a civilian review board. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, 15 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of rubric

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rubric

Middle English rubrike red ocher, heading in red letters of part of a book, from Anglo-French, from Latin rubrica, from rubr-, ruber red

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rubric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for rubric


ru·​bric | \ ˈrü-brik How to pronounce rubric (audio) \

Legal Definition of rubric

: an established rule, tradition, or custom

More from Merriam-Webster on rubric

Britannica English: Translation of rubric for Arabic Speakers


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