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

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Other Words from rubric

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

According to the show’s fine catalog, this is the first time an American museum has considered Spain’s colonies within the Golden Age rubric. Christopher Knight,, "Review: 3 Velázquez paintings alone are reason to go, now, to this San Diego show," 26 June 2019 UnitedHealth acquiring the Express Scripts on-line pharmacy falls under this rubric. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Playing monopoly is more than just rolling the dice," 16 June 2019 In an updated rubric used to determine whether a school’s charter should be renewed, the district plans to more heavily factor in how the program is educating children across all racial groups. Talia Richman,, "One of Baltimore's most sought-after schools wants to open a second location. Will the school board OK it?," 10 June 2019 That’s because the new proposal is essentially a rubric for USCIS officers to follow and apply at their discretion, which is difficult to forecast. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump is proposing a regulation that could change the face of legal immigration — by restricting low-income immigrants," 24 Sep. 2018 One of them, the Alejandro Adams, based in California’s Bay Area, produced work during this period that was too prickly and individual to categorize under any rubric. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "Spike Lee’s ‘Pass Over,’ an Offbeat Melding of Cinema and Theater," 11 May 2018 The rest of the high school rubric is troublesome, too. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Teacher: Why it’s so troubling that we allow computers to grade test essays," 19 Apr. 2018 It’s set up a complicated rubric for what, exactly, counts as reliance on public benefits that would make someone a likely public charge. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump is proposing a regulation that could change the face of legal immigration — by restricting low-income immigrants," 24 Sep. 2018 An ongoing audit of the scoring process by Ohio Auditor Dave Yost's office identified a discrepancy between the individual marks and final scores awarded on scoring rubrics for Ohio Clean Leaf LLC, which applied for sites in Dayton and Carroll. Jackie Borchardt,, "Another error found in Ohio's medical marijuana cultivator scoring process," 30 Apr. 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near rubric

rub out

rub rail






Statistics for rubric

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for rubric

The first known use of rubric was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of rubric

: a name or heading under which something is classified
: an explanation or a set of instructions at the beginning of a book, a test, etc.


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

Legal Definition of rubric

: an established rule, tradition, or custom

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More from Merriam-Webster on rubric

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rubric

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rubric

Britannica English: Translation of rubric for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rubric

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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