rule of thumb

noun phrase

1
: a method of procedure based on experience and common sense
2
: a general principle regarded as roughly correct but not intended to be scientifically accurate

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rule of thumb was circa 1658

Dictionary Entries Near rule of thumb

Cite this Entry

“Rule of thumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rule%20of%20thumb. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

rule of thumb

1
: a method based on experience and common sense
2
: a general principle that is roughly correct
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