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 According to challenge rules, referees can issue a foul to another player. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Coach's challenge success rate less than 50% in its first season in the NBA," 28 Nov. 2019 City rules now state the balloons can't fly if sustained winds exceed 23 mph, or if gusts are over 34 mph. Thom Craver, CBS News, "How to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," 28 Nov. 2019 Trump and his lawyers are invited to attend the Judiciary hearing and make a request to question witnesses, according to Democratic rules approved by the House last month. Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, "Trump impeachment: House Judiciary Committee sets opening hearing; transcripts show budget officials’ concerns over hold on Ukraine aid," 27 Nov. 2019 There is actually a provision in the select agent rules that allows uncertified state laboratories to ask for an exemption to hold on to samples for a little longer. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Why the huge surge in EEE cases? Federal rules requiring quick sample disposal mean we may never know," 27 Nov. 2019 To comply with new rules in New York aimed at reducing traffic congestion, Uber in September started limiting drivers’ access to its app. The Economist, "Uber uncool London hits Uber hard and hails a fleet of new, cheaper apps," 27 Nov. 2019 Originally published by E&E News A climate skeptic with ties to the White House is back—this time as the co-author of a new paper that could help the Trump administration roll back climate rules. Scott Waldman, Science | AAAS, "In unpublished paper, former White House climate adviser calls methane ‘irrelevant’ to climate," 27 Nov. 2019 Manchester City has denied wrongdoing, but it could be banned from the prestigious Champions League for a year if soccer authorities rule against the club. Charles Riley, CNN, "Manchester City's owner is worth nearly $5 billion after Silver Lake deal," 27 Nov. 2019 Breaking the winter dressing rules has never looked so good—and luckily, there’s no snow on the ground. Vogue, "Katie Holmes’s Shoe of Choice for Winter? The Fancy Flat," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whitten ruled Wednesday that the lawsuit fell outside the statute of limitations, which was one year. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Judge rules against Arizona attorney general on ASU-Omni hotel deal," 27 Nov. 2019 The young Plath's death was later officially ruled an accident by the local Sheriff's office, according to the Thomasville Times Enterprise. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Kim Plath Opens Up About Accidental Death of 17-Month Old Son Joshua on 'Welcome to Plathville'," 23 Nov. 2019 Bashant ruled that the immigrants who were waiting at the border when the regulation went into effect had already attempted to seek asylum, so the regulation should not apply to them. Dara Lind, ProPublica, "The Trump Administration Was Ordered to Let These Migrants Seek Asylum. It Didn’t Tell the Judges Hearing Their Cases.," 22 Nov. 2019 Officials initially ruled Molitor out before turning it over, but replay showed Haffeman had secured it first. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "For the first time in WIAA football history, a play was overturned on replay," 21 Nov. 2019 Well, the film's director, Monika Mitchell, isn't ruling it out. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "The Knight Before Christmas," 21 Nov. 2019 Lil' Duval and Ellen DeGeneres rule the Top Comedians and Top TV Personalities charts, respectively, while Top News/Talk/Variety and Top Unscripted feature No. 1s by, respectively, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Wild 'N Out. Kevin Rutherford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Social Climbers Charts: Millie Bobby Brown, 'Stranger Things' Rule After Show's Nov. 6 Social Media Celebration," 16 Nov. 2019 Never Say Die in L.A., Burger Supreme in NYC) or your local drive-in—right now, smash burgers are ruling the burger world. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "In the Age of Smash Burger Supremacy, the Office Burger Still Reigns," 6 Nov. 2019 But the ancestors of today's birds—members of the neornithine lineage—were mere bit players compared with archaic birds such as the enantiornithines, which ruled the roost. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Solving the Mystery of Songbird Diversity," 1 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for rule

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rule

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rule.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rules. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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