1 : a rule especially for the conduct of a liturgical service
2 : heading, title; also : class, category
3 : an explanatory or introductory commentary; specifically : an editorial interpolation
4 : a guide listing specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests
A stricter enforcement of anti-littering laws has been enacted under the rubric of downtown beautification.
"Voters … have become increasingly sophisticated and knowledgeable about issues and personalities, thanks in large measure to the myriad sources of information available through outlets lumped together under the rubric 'social media.'" - From an article by Carl Golden in Asbury Park Press (New Jersey), September 25, 2013
Did You Know?
Centuries ago, whenever manuscript writers inserted special instructions or explanations into a book, they put them in red ink to set them off from the black used in the main text. (They used the same practice to highlight saints' names and holy days in calendars, a practice which gave us the term "red-letter day.") Ultimately, such special headings or comments came to be called "rubrics," a term that traces back to "ruber," the Latin word for "red." While the printing sense remains in use today, "rubric" also has an extended sense referring to any class or category under which something is organized.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
What relative of "rubric" is a synonym of "German measles"? The answer is …