rul·​er | \ ˈrü-lər How to pronounce ruler (audio) \

Definition of ruler

1 : one that rules specifically : sovereign
2 : a worker or a machine that rules paper
3 : a smooth-edged strip (as of wood or metal) that is usually marked off in units (such as inches) and is used as a straightedge or for measuring

Other Words from ruler

rulership \ ˈrü-​lər-​ˌship How to pronounce ruler (audio) \ noun

Examples of ruler in a Sentence

a summit attended by a number of rulers from around the world This ruler shows inches and centimeters.
Recent Examples on the Web As of Monday, Queen Elizabeth reached another milestone: the 96-year-old ruler is now the third longest reigning monarch in world history. Stephanie Petit,, 9 May 2022 Latifa’s father, Maktoum, serves as vice president and prime minister of the UAE along with being ruler of Dubai, a wealthy emirate home to about 3 million people. Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2022 Little is known about Amenhotep I, who was the second ruler of the 18th dynasty. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 Jan. 2022 Curry lives on land, but is called to his undersea kingdom of Atlantis — and his birthright as its ruler — when his half-brother, Orm, declares himself Ocean Master. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 20 Apr. 2022 In its early days, the trial has felt like sifting through the wreckage of a royal court after its ruler has been deposed. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 19 Apr. 2022 Your ruler, Venus, is aligning with Saturn for a beautiful conjunction in your 10th House of Reputation and Career. Tarot Astrologers,, 28 Mar. 2022 The enormous, elliptical structure is engraved with Arabic calligraphy, showing quotes from the ruler. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 2 Mar. 2022 Chile’s current constitution was written in 1980, by people handpicked by its then military ruler, Augusto Pinochet. New York Times, 28 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ruler.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ruler

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best kids' desks.

Learn More About ruler

Time Traveler for ruler

Time Traveler

The first known use of ruler was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near ruler

rule out of


rules of court

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ruler

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ruler.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for ruler


rul·​er | \ ˈrü-lər How to pronounce ruler (audio) \

Kids Definition of ruler

1 : a person (as a king or queen) having supreme power over a nation
2 : a straight strip (as of plastic, wood, or metal) with a smooth edge that is marked off in units and used for measuring or as a guide in drawing straight lines

More from Merriam-Webster on ruler

Nglish: Translation of ruler for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ruler for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!