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 approval for 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The new rule, which comes into force on June 9, will allow people to grow cannabis plants at home after notifying their local government, but the plants will have to be of medical grade and used exclusively for medicinal purposes. Heather Chen, CNN, 11 May 2022 Marcos will take up the mantle left by the populist, controversial rule of President Rodrigo Duterte. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 Enhancing their appeal has been a standard known as the fiduciary rule, which legally requires such advisers to put client interests first at all times and generally avoid conflicts of interest. Randall Smith, WSJ, 8 May 2022 In fact, tick-borne co-infections are the rule, not the exception, according to LymeDisease.org. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 May 2022 Why did the Court rule in favor of abortion’s constitutionality? Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 4 May 2022 That is one rule for them, another one for everyone else. Rashna Farrukh, refinery29.com, 4 May 2022 The budget rule that allows some legislation to pass with a simple majority applies to bills that primarily impact spending and taxes, not policy. New York Times, 3 May 2022 The judge was referring to a regulation, commonly known as the trainer insurer rule, which makes the trainer ultimately responsible for every horse and even actions taken by third parties without the trainer’s knowledge. John Cherwaspecial Contributor, Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Supreme Court will soon rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that stems from a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions. Connor Sanders, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 May 2022 As president, Marcos will rule over an archipelago of about 110 million ravaged by the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, where around a fifth of the population is below the poverty line. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 Power-worshipping prevaricators rule the field, as the soirée of Beltway grovelers and butt-kissers revealed. Armond White, National Review, 4 May 2022 The three judge panel will rule on Raniere and Bronfman’s appeals at a later date, though no exact date was given for when their rulings will be announced. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 3 May 2022 Newly confirmed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will not rule on the case, as Breyer's resignation does not take effect until the end of the current term. Grayson Quay, The Week, 25 Apr. 2022 Churchill Downs stewards rule on disqualifications, and Baffert could appeal any decision to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Jason Frakes, USA TODAY, 23 Apr. 2022 It is expected to rule by the end of June — just before the Aug. 9 primary. Contact Patrick Marley at patrick.marley@jrn.com. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 Apr. 2022 In power from 1486 to 1502, Ahuizotl was the eighth ruler of the Aztec Empire and the last to rule before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. Jane Recker, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

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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Dictionary Entries Near rule

rulable

rule

rule book

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Statistics for rule

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rule. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rule

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, The Story of 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

More from Merriam-Webster on rule

Nglish: Translation of rule for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rule for Arabic Speakers

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