rule of the road

noun phrase

: a customary practice (such as driving always on a particular side of the road or yielding the right of way) developed in the interest of safety and often subsequently reinforced by law
especially : any of the rules making up a code governing ships in matters relating to mutual safety

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web McHenry and Waters remain committed to establishing rules of the road for stablecoins. Sam Lyman, Forbes, 2 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rule of the road.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1798, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rule of the road was in 1798

Dictionary Entries Near rule of the road

Cite this Entry

“Rule of the road.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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