rule

noun
\ ˈrül How to pronounce rule (audio) \

Definition of rule

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a prescribed guide for conduct or action
b : the laws or regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for observance by its members
c : an accepted procedure, custom, or habit
d(1) : a usually written order or direction made by a court regulating court practice or the action of parties
(2) : a legal precept or doctrine
e : a regulation or bylaw governing procedure or controlling conduct
2a(1) : a usually valid generalization
(2) : a generally prevailing quality, state, or mode fair weather was the rule yesterdayThe New York Times
b : a standard of judgment : criterion
c : a regulating principle
d : a determinate method for performing a mathematical operation and obtaining a certain result
3a : the exercise of authority or control : dominion
b : a period during which a specified ruler or government exercises control
4a : a strip of material marked off in units used especially for measuring : ruler sense 3, tape measure
b : a metal strip with a type-high face that prints a linear design also : a linear design produced by or as if by such a strip
as a rule
: for the most part : generally

rule

verb
ruled; ruling

Definition of rule (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to exert control, direction, or influence on the passions that rule our minds
b : to exercise control over especially by curbing or restraining rule a fractious horse ruled his appetites firmly
2a : to exercise authority or power over often harshly or arbitrarily the speaker ruled the legislature with an iron hand
b : to be preeminent in : dominate
3 : to determine and declare authoritatively especially : to command or determine judicially
4a(1) : to mark with lines drawn along or as if along the straight edge of a ruler
(2) : to mark (a line) on a paper with a ruler
b : to arrange in a line

intransitive verb

1a : to exercise supreme authority
b : to be first in importance or prominence : predominate the physical did not rule in her nature— Sherwood Anderson
2 : to exist in a specified state or condition
3 : to lay down a legal rule
4 slang : to be extremely cool or popular used as a generalized term of praise or approvalfor a little attitude at the right price, sneakers rule— Tish Hamilton

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Synonyms for rule

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for rule

Noun

law, rule, regulation, precept, statute, ordinance, canon mean a principle governing action or procedure. law implies imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority. obey the law rule applies to more restricted or specific situations. the rules of the game regulation implies prescription by authority in order to control an organization or system. regulations affecting nuclear power plants precept commonly suggests something advisory and not obligatory communicated typically through teaching. the precepts of effective writing statute implies a law enacted by a legislative body. a statute requiring the use of seat belts ordinance applies to an order governing some detail of procedure or conduct enforced by a limited authority such as a municipality. a city ordinance canon suggests in nonreligious use a principle or rule of behavior or procedure commonly accepted as a valid guide. the canons of good taste

Verb

decide, determine, settle, rule, resolve mean to come or cause to come to a conclusion. decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy. she decided to sell her house determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something. determined the cause of the problem settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty. the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority. the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something. he resolved to quit smoking

Examples of rule in a Sentence

Noun I understand the basic rules of chess. As long as you're living under our roof, you'll follow our rules. The college has strict rules for qualifying for financial assistance. The new rule allows employees to dress casually on Fridays. Under the new rules, casual dress is now allowed. the company's rules and regulations It's important to learn the rules of the road before taking your driving test. It's against the rules to eat during class. He violated the unwritten rule that you must thank your host before you leave a party. If you break the rules, you'll be asked to leave. Verb The queen ruled for 25 years. A dynasty ruled over this region during the 11th century. Who will be the next leader to rule the country? All of his actions were ruled by his religion. The court ruled in favor of the defendant. The jury ruled against the tobacco companies. How will the court rule on the motion? The Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional. The board ruled that her behavior was cheating.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And while most of us are happy to follow social distancing rules and stay-home orders to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, that also means more people than ever are dealing with outgrown roots or dull color. Andrea Jordan, Southern Living, "The Best Box Hair Dyes to Touch Up Your Color at Home," 20 May 2020 Federal contracts are heavily regulated, but the labyrinthine rules and procedures sometimes lead to curious outcomes. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "Wedding Planner, Caterer, “Brand Builder”: Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers," 19 May 2020 For Papageorgiou, communication of rules and safety measures around these travel bubbles is key to getting people back out into the world. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Travel Bubbles Could Define Where We Go in 2020," 19 May 2020 There are new rules and recommended behaviors for viewing and showing homes, said Francis, the Michigan Realtors president. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "As Michigan economy crumbles, home prices jump higher," 28 May 2020 For graduating classes that are too large to accommodate the governor's rule that no more than 25 people can gather outdoor, schools may have to hold multiple ceremonies. NBC News, "States are trying to lure the Republican National Convention away from North Carolina," 27 May 2020 Klausutis cited that the statements are a violation of the company’s community rules and terms of service. Tara Law, Time, "In a First, Twitter Adds 'Unsubstantiated' Warning to 2 of President Trump's Tweets," 27 May 2020 The disregard for rules and counter culture of sorts. Fox News, "NYC photographers try capturing 'living history' of coronavirus pandemic in hard-hit city," 26 May 2020 An ugly moment was caught on video in New York City’s Central Park over the holiday weekend: A white person threatened to call the police on a Black person for the high crime of asking her to respect the rules and leash her dog. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "A tale of two Coopers, one as old as the nation," 26 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Callahan ruled the transcripts should be sent directly to him and shared with attorneys only if the messages contradicted Kilpatrick's and Christine Beatty's testimony. Jim Schaefer, Detroit Free Press, "City fought for years to keep text messages a secret," 30 May 2020 DeVos’ administration, however, ruled in late April that CARES Act funding should flow to private schools based on their total number of students. Jacob Carpenter, ExpressNews.com, "Texas tells ISDs to follow DeVos guidance boosting relief funding for private schools," 28 May 2020 But even in states with friendly Republican governors that have lifted coronavirus lockdowns, cities most equipped to host the president’s renomination are ruled by Democrats and likely to resist, citing fears of a second outbreak. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Democrats' big-city dominance leaves GOP with few alternatives to move Trump convention," 27 May 2020 According to the German-language newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, Switzerland’s top court ruled in favor of employees in a new case against a company that didn’t want to contribute to employees’ rent payments while they were expected to work from home. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Swiss Court Rules in Favor of Requiring Companies to Help Pay Rent for Employees Forced to Work From Home," 27 May 2020 But a federal appeals court today ruled there is enough evidence for Sureshbai Patel to proceed with his lawsuit against Eric Parker, a Madison police officer at the time, and the city of Madison. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, "Lawsuit over Alabama police officer’s takedown of Indian grandfather may proceed, court rules," 27 May 2020 Pop music, once ruled by constraint and conformity, now faces a tyranny of freedom. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "The 1975 Has More to Say," 25 May 2020 The Indiana Supreme Court on May 11 ruled to suspend Hill's license for 30 days. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "Lawsuit asks court to declare vacancy during AG Curtis Hill's suspension," 21 May 2020 Capricorn is ruled by Saturn and excels in the virtues of patience. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Perfect Houseplant for Your Zodiac Sign, According to an Astrologer," 13 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rule.' 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 rule

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for rule

Noun

Middle English reule, from Anglo-French, from Latin regula straightedge, rule, from regere to keep straight, direct — more at right

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Time Traveler for rule

Time Traveler

The first known use of rule was in the 13th century

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Statistics for rule

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rule. Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for rule

rule

noun
How to pronounce rule (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rule

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a statement that tells you what is or is not allowed in a particular game, situation, etc.
: a statement that tells you what is allowed or what will happen within a particular system (such as a language or science)
: a piece of advice about the best way to do something

rule

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rule (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have control and power over a country, area, group, etc.
: to have great influence over (someone)
: to make a legal decision about something

rule

noun
\ ˈrül How to pronounce rule (audio) \

Kids Definition of rule

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a guide or principle for conduct or action To play this game, you need to follow the rules.
2 : an accepted or usual method, custom, or habit “I'm a pretty quiet creature as a rule,” said the horse …— Hugh Lofting, Dr. Dolittle
3 : the exercise of authority or control : government The country was under British rule.

rule

verb
ruled; ruling

Kids Definition of rule (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to exercise authority over : govern
2 : control entry 1 sense 1, direct Don't let emotions rule your decision.
3 : to be supreme or outstanding in He rules the tennis courts.
4 : to give or state as a considered decision The judge ruled that the evidence could not be used.
5 : to mark with lines drawn along the straight edge of a ruler

rule

noun

Legal Definition of rule

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a prescribed guide for conduct or action
b : a regulating principle or precept
2a : an order or directive issued by a court in a particular proceeding especially upon petition of a party to the proceeding that commands an officer or party to perform an act or show cause why an act should not be performed a rule directing the district court to show cause why its ruling should not be vacatedPeople v. District Court, 797 P.2d 1259 (1990)
b : a usually judicially promulgated regulation having the force of law that governs judicial practice or procedure rules of evidence rules of appellate procedure — see also rule of court
3 : all or part of a statement (as a regulation) by an administrative agency that has general or particular applicability and future effect and that is designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or that describes the organization, procedure, or practice of the agency itself a rule subject to statutory notice and comment requirements for informal rulemaking
4a : a regulation or bylaw governing procedure or conduct in a body, organization, institution, or proceeding
b : a resolution of a legislative rules committee setting forth the terms for consideration of a particular bill by the entire body
5 : the exercise of authority or control majority rule — see also home rule, rule of law sense 2

rule

verb
ruled; ruling

Legal Definition of rule (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to exercise authority or power over
2 : to determine and declare authoritatively especially : to command or determine judicially ruled the evidence inadmissible

intransitive verb

1 : to exercise supreme authority
2 : to lay down a rule or ruling ruled in favor of the plaintiff

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More from Merriam-Webster on rule

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rule

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rule

Spanish Central: Translation of rule

Nglish: Translation of rule for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rule for Arabic Speakers

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