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 Or at least forget about the constitutionalism of rules and detail—of arguing over what exactly the framers meant in this or that passage. Louis Michael Seidman, Harper's magazine, "Constitution in Crisis," 16 Sep. 2019 Her grandson’s hair is a beautiful shoulder length, and the rules mandate that hair can’t go below the top of a shirt collar. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Texas Grandmother Was Told By School Official To Cut Grandson's Hair Or Put Him In A Dress," 15 Sep. 2019 To turn to an esoteric art form or to claim an understanding of poetry’s rules is, of course, courageous. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "New research examines the treacherous experience of being “fat” at work," 9 Sep. 2019 There’s some advantage there to different types of rules. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "The roughing calls in the 4th quarter were debatable, but officials got the spot right for the Broncos’ 2-point conversion play," 16 Sep. 2019 In other words, no federal preemption of tougher state rules. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: CEOs support a federal privacy law, but for all the wrong reasons," 16 Sep. 2019 One set of rules for one-third of the car-buying country, and another for the rest would be disastrous for carmakers. Aarian Marshall, Ars Technica, "The fight over fuel economy rules is getting messy," 15 Sep. 2019 The law would also criminalize intentional infractions of a new set of rules, exposing voting advocates to misdemeanor charges. USA TODAY, "Disney surprise, foreign feral hogs, porous pavement: News from around our 50 states," 13 Sep. 2019 Lab rats play hide-and-seek for the fun of it, new study shows Every child knows that a proper game of hide-and-seek must follow a strict set of rules. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: Mountain-moving climate change, an oxygen-starved city, and rats playing hide-and-seek," 13 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Such was the furor over 1MDB, Malaysia’s voters in May threw out Najib’s ruling coalition for the first time in 61 years. Yudith Ho, Washington Post, "What to Know as Goldman Sachs Faces Malaysia’s Legal System," 18 Sep. 2019 However, they were given the ball at the 13-yard line as the return was negated because the play was technically ruled dead. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Saints Still Can't Catch a Break vs. Rams, Get Robbed of Fumble Return Touchdown," 15 Sep. 2019 The General Court will rule on whether the EU was right to demand unpaid taxes from Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit. Stephanie Bodoni, Fortune, "It’s Apple v the EU as the World’s Largest Tax Case Opens This Week in Luxembourg," 16 Sep. 2019 The court said its order would remain in effect while the Ninth Circuit considered and ruled on the case, and would be lifted only if the high court denied review of the appeals court’s derision. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Supreme Court says US may resume denying asylum to Central American refugees," 11 Sep. 2019 Through its ruling on Wednesday, the Supreme Court delayed both of Tigar's injunctions while the legal challenge to the policy continues in court. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Trump administration can enforce border asylum ban, Supreme Court rules," 11 Sep. 2019 State of the law Since a 2011 ruling against pirate site Newzbin2, UK courts have ordered major ISPs to block over 1,000 URLs, with piracy prevention being a major focus of such efforts. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Nintendo gets UK ISPs to block Switch piracy sites," 10 Sep. 2019 Jackson’s then-law director, Robert Troizzi, fought the case to the Ohio Supreme Court, which ruled against Cleveland. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has spent years fighting gun and gang violence, and now it is on the doorstep of his home," 10 Sep. 2019 The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled against union advocates who picketed on privately owned land in 2015. Donna Engle, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Legal Matters: Is it legal to picket on a private street or a parking lot?," 6 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for rule

Last Updated

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for rule

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

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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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