rul·​ing | \ ˈrü-liŋ How to pronounce ruling (audio) \

Definition of ruling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an official or authoritative decision, decree, statement, or interpretation (as by a judge on a point of law)



Definition of ruling (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : exerting power or authority the ruling party
b : chief, predominating a ruling passion
2 : generally prevailing

Synonyms & Antonyms for ruling

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of ruling in a Sentence

Noun The decision overturns the Supreme Court's earlier ruling. She disputed the referee's ruling. Adjective members of the ruling class the ruling opinion on premarital sex
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Commissioner Roger Goodell said on April 28 that there was no timeframe on any possible ruling on Watson. Tom Withers, ajc, 16 May 2022 The election is the first in Lebanon since a 2019 popular uprising demanded the downfall of the ruling elite, blaming traditional parties for widespread corruption and mismanagement. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, 15 May 2022 The law could, potentially, go into effect on the same day as the Supreme Court’s ruling if certified by the Legislature’s general counsel. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 May 2022 The Texas Supreme Court on Friday issued a multipart ruling on investigations into transgender care for minors that has both sides claiming victory. Jo Yurcaba, NBC News, 13 May 2022 And, as Judge Mizelle’s ruling in Florida shows, crafting legislation that overcomes conservatives’ determined misreading of it is virtually impossible. Fabio Bertoni, The New Yorker, 13 May 2022 Wadas knows that Hamilton is wearing the black hat the rest of the tournament with social media going abuzz after Wednesday's ruling. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 13 May 2022 Friday’s actions follows demonstrations last week at the State House and on Harvard Yard that drew thousands of protesters who decried the draft ruling, which was leaked to Politico but hasn’t been made official. Adria Watson,, 13 May 2022 Until Moukawsher’s ruling, Cunha, who has offices in Hamden, had practiced law since 1999. Taylor Hartz, Hartford Courant, 12 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Runaway inflation in the 1930s and 1940s helped undermine the ruling Nationalist government and open the door to the Communist Party’s takeover. Stella Yifan Xie, WSJ, 8 May 2022 Signs of a rift in the ruling PDP-Laban party began in March when the former boxer criticized Duterte's stance on a maritime dispute with China and accused government agencies of corruption. Rebecca Wright, Ivan Watson And Jinky Jorgio, CNN, 16 Nov. 2021 Support for the ruling Liberal Party — the main conservative party in Australia — has been slowly declining among women for years, even before the assault allegations emerged, said Sarah Cameron, a lecturer in politics at the University of Sydney. Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2021 For sure, most were looked down on as unworthy minorities for much of American history by the ruling Anglo-Saxon Protestants. WSJ, 20 Nov. 2020 Just as the purveyors of apartheid did, the ruling African Nation Congress seems to often prioritize self-aggrandizement and neglect social development. Norma Young, Quartz Africa, 23 Sep. 2020 It was released in several European countries in 1969 — the year it was nominated — but was banned under the ruling military junta in Greece and would not screen there until after the junta fell in 1974. Sara Aridi, New York Times, 10 Feb. 2020 She was awarded the prize in 1991, for leading the opposition to the ruling military junta and calling for a nonviolent transition to a democratic society., 12 Dec. 2019 Dave Sharma, a member of parliament for the ruling Liberal party and former Australian envoy to Israel told the Australian Parliament in October. Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of ruling


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for ruling

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

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Dictionary Entries Near ruling

rule with a rod of iron


ruling elder

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ruling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ruling


rul·​ing | \ ˈrü-liŋ \

Kids Definition of ruling

: an official decision (as by a judge)



Legal Definition of ruling

: an official or authoritative determination, decree, statement, or interpretation (as by a judge on a question of law) followed a previous ruling on the same question — see also revenue ruling — compare decision, disposition, finding, holding, judgment, opinion, verdict

More from Merriam-Webster on ruling

Nglish: Translation of ruling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ruling for Arabic Speakers


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