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

Vista Unified received a score of 29.3 percent percent on that rubric, with the high risk category constituting a score of 40 percent or more, moderate risk at 25 to 39 percent, and low risk at 24 percent or lower. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vista schools at risk of financial problems, report warns," 6 Sep. 2019 This was yet another hospitality project that didn’t easily hew to building codes and public-approval rubrics. Jessica Ritz,, "The Manufactory: A new culinary anchor in the Arts District," 10 June 2019 Were Trump to lose to a Democrat, the Obama-era standards would remain in place, or perhaps be altered to match the new California rubric. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: California scores a tactical win in war with Trump," 30 July 2019 The region’s future, total build-out population of 73,170 residents necessitates 204.88 acres of usable park land, according to the city’s rubric (2.8 acres of public park land for ever 1,000 population). San Diego Union-Tribune, "North Park Mini Park finally in the works for parking lot behind theater," 23 July 2019 Some men rule by becoming the rules, the unlikely rubric of the heroic and anti-heroic. Harmonyholiday, Longreads, "Mama Looks for Melanin," 6 June 2019 Reviewmeta and Fakespot each have their own complex algorithms that apply their rubrics on a massive scale, but even some honest behavior, such as a wave of positive reviews from a product's loyal fans, could be identified as suspicious. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Amazon Prime Day: Beware, Fake Reviews May Run Rampant," 15 July 2019 Oceanside Unified received a score of 31.4 percent on that rubric, with the high risk category constituting a score of 40 percent or more, moderate risk at 25 to 39 percent, and low risk at 24 percent or lower. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Oceanside schools face fiscal crisis," 26 July 2019 Lacking any familiarity with the structure of their language, people find linguistic rubrics arbitrary and unreasonable. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Semantic Drift," 22 July 2019

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

12 Sep 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

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

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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