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 approval for 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 Baylor set a program and Big 12 record with 17 runs in the fifth inning against Kansas State en route to a 23-3 win shortened by the mercy rule. John Zenor, Chron, "Texas cools off TCU, tightens Big 12 race with series win," 10 May 2021 Emma Behel threw a shutout in the Vikings’ mercy-rule victory over the Lightning. Jacob Calvin Meyer, baltimoresun.com, "New-look Wilde Lake softball powers past Centennial in season opener | Howard County sports roundup," 10 May 2021 Kent Desormeaux was fined $500 for violation of the riding crop rule while aboard Tiz Toffee in fourth race on April 25. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Medina Spirit tests positive," 10 May 2021 Read my statement regarding a recent episode of mob rule in Plano, TX. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Man who confronted protesters in Plano intersection faces assault charge, police say," 10 May 2021 His parents had become aware of the early-entry draft rule. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "The dreams, the decision and the pressure: Bernie Kosar’s story of becoming a Cleveland Brown – Terry Pluto," 9 May 2021 Pipers of the Royal Highland Fusiliers were ordered to play the new state’s national anthem at a ceremony in Hargeisa, the capital, marking the end of British colonial rule in June 1960. The Economist, "A state of one’s own Somaliland deserves international recognition," 8 May 2021 Supporters of the rule say that warehouse real estate values have surged in recent years, giving developers financial leeway to clean up their operations. New York Times, "E-Commerce Mega-Warehouses, a Smog Source, Face New Pollution Rule," 8 May 2021 CovCath won the game 10-0, ending it early via the KHSAA mercy rule. James Weber, The Enquirer, "'We all have each other’s backs;' Covington Catholic baseball seniors lead 16-0 start," 29 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb His initials were not listed in the petition, suggesting that Wood was not seeking to temporarily hold a statewide office should the court rule in the group’s favor. Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic, "Group of anonymous AZ voters claim elections invalid; ask to be seated in offices instead," 10 May 2021 The Biden administration plans more money for OSHA and the Department of Labor is planning on re-visiting its safety enforcement and rule making. Gene Marks, Forbes, "GoToWebinar Now Livestreams To YouTube, LinkedIn And Facebook…And Other Small Business Tech News," 9 May 2021 But there are several limits on what the Board can currently rule on. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Donald Trump Will Not Be Allowed Back on Facebook Yet—But a Bigger Showdown Is Coming," 5 May 2021 Neglecting the crew, or allowing the captain to rule by fear, is a mistake that will cost you your staff. Lucy Alexander, Robb Report, "Here’s How to Keep Your Crew From Being Pirated by Another Yacht," 18 Apr. 2021 That would allow Palestinian lawmakers to propose laws and debate and scrutinize key issues in the council, which has not met in a regular session since 2007, ending Abbas’ ability to rule by decree and without oversight. BostonGlobe.com, "Palestinians and Israelis both vote soon. The differences are stark," 21 Mar. 2021 That would allow Palestinian lawmakers to propose laws and debate and scrutinize key issues in the council, which has not met in a regular session since 2007, ending Mr. Abbas’s ability to rule by decree and without oversight. New York Times, "Palestinians and Israelis Both Vote Soon. The Differences Are Stark.," 21 Mar. 2021 Both issues, which Cahill is expected to rule on by Friday, highlight key points of arguments in the case. Washington Post, "Derek Chauvin trial: Judge considers whether to allow mention of Floyd’s 2019 arrest," 18 Mar. 2021 One of American’s founding traditions, however, endures: a rump reactionary minority insisting that the nation is nonetheless theirs to rule by right. Rick Perlstein, The New Republic, "The Trump Era Was Always Going to End in Violence," 20 Jan. 2021

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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rule. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for rule

rule

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on rule

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rule

Nglish: Translation of rule for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rule for Arabic Speakers

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