rul·​er ˈrü-lər How to pronounce ruler (audio)
: one that rules
specifically : sovereign
: a worker or a machine that rules paper
: 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
rulership 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 Its exact placement was mostly up to the current ruler, which caused the Roman calendar and solar year to slip out of sync. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 22 Feb. 2024 But after a mounting public outcry forced the country’s last military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to resign in 2008, the military’s power calculus changed. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, 21 Feb. 2024 The authoritarian rulers of Cuba and Venezuela are holding hundreds of dissidents and opposition members in their countries’ prisons. Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald, 20 Feb. 2024 Alarmed, China’s conservative ruler, the empress dowager Cixi, ordered his arrest and forced him into exile. Rana Mitter, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Despite never having controlled the island, China’s Communist rulers view Taiwan as part of their territory and view any use of its flag as defiance. Heather Chen, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 According to one of the Greek legends, there once was a mighty king named Oenomaus, a ruler of a powerful kingdom. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, 28 Jan. 2024 The Egyptian ruler is said to have dipped her sails in perfume to attract suitors during her travels. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 24 Jan. 2024 After a half-century of hundreds of economists spending millions of dollars to build mathematical economic forecasting models, few are of greater use than the ruler in a sixth grader’s backpack. Ed Lotterman, Idaho Statesman, 24 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ruler.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near ruler

Cite this Entry

“Ruler.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


rul·​er ˈrü-lər How to pronounce ruler (audio)
: a straight strip of material (as wood or metal) marked off in units and used as a guide in drawing lines or for measuring

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