Synonyms of rule

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a statement spelling out the proper procedure or conduct for an activity
  • read the rules that are posted before you use the pool

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2 lawful control over the affairs of a political unit (as a nation)
  • the years during which Russia was under Communist rule

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3 an inherited or established way of thinking, feeling, or doing
  • one of the sacred rules of that ancient society was respect for the elderly

Synonyms for rule

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Synonyms & Antonyms of rule (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to exercise authority or power over
  • a sea captain who ruled his ship sternly but justly

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2 to keep from exceeding a desirable degree or level (as of expression)
  • a monarch who is known for ruling her emotions with an iron hand

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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


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

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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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Cite this Entry

“Rule.” The Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rule

Dictionary: Definition of 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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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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