See under rule(def 10).
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Definition for general rule (2 of 2)
[ rool ]
/ rul /
a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, arrangement, etc.: the rules of chess.
the code of regulations observed by a religious order or congregation: the Franciscan rule.
the customary or normal circumstance, occurrence, manner, practice, quality, etc.: the rule rather than the exception.
control, government, or dominion: under the rule of a dictator.
tenure or conduct of reign or office: during the rule of George III.
a prescribed mathematical method for performing a calculation or solving a problem.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Norma.
Printing. a thin, type-high strip of metal, for printing a solid or decorative line or lines.
- a formal order or direction made by a court, as for governing the procedure of the court (general rule) or for sending the case before a referee (special rule).
- a legal principle.
- a court order in a particular case.
rules, Penology. (formerly)
- a fixed area in the neighborhood of certain prisons within which certain prisoners were allowed to live.
- the freedom of such an area.
verb (used with object), ruled, rul·ing.
to control or direct; exercise dominating power, authority, or influence over; govern: to rule the empire with severity.
to decide or declare judicially or authoritatively; decree: The judge ruled that he should be exiled.
to mark with lines, especially parallel straight lines, with the aid of a ruler or the like: to rule paper.
to mark out or form (a line) by this method: to rule lines on paper.
to be superior or preeminent in (a specific field or group); dominate by superiority; hold sway over: For centuries, England ruled the seas.
verb (used without object), ruled, rul·ing.
to exercise dominating power or influence; predominate.
to exercise authority, dominion, or sovereignty.
to make a formal decision or ruling, as on a point at law.
to be prevalent or current: Higher prices ruled throughout France.
- to prove to be unrelated or not for consideration; eliminate; exclude: to rule out the possibility of error.
- to make impossible or impracticable: The rainstorm ruled out the holiday camping.
Origin of rule
1175–1225; (noun) Middle English riule, reule < Old French riule < Latin rēgula straight stick, pattern (see regula); (v.) Middle English riwlen, reulen, rewellen < Old French riuler, rieuler, ruler < Late Latin rēgulāre, derivative of rēgula
in·ter·rule, verb (used with object), in·ter·ruled, in·ter·rul·ing.self-rule, nounsub·rule, nounun·der·rule, noun
un·der·rule, verb, un·der·ruled, un·der·rul·ing.un·ruled, adjectivewell-ruled, adjective
1. See principle. 13. Rule, administer, command, govern, manage mean to exercise authoritative guidance or direction. Rule implies the exercise of authority as by a sovereign: to rule a kingdom. Administer places emphasis on the planned and orderly procedures used: to administer the finances of an institution. Command suggests military authority and the power to exact obedience; to be in command of: to command a ship. To govern is authoritatively to guide or direct persons or things, especially in the affairs of a large administrative unit: to govern a state. To manage is to conduct affairs, i.e., to guide them in a unified way toward a definite goal, or to direct or control people, often by tact, address, or artifice: to manage a business.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for general rule
/ (ruːl) /
an authoritative regulation or direction concerning method or procedure, as for a court of law, legislative body, game, or other human institution or activityjudges' rules; play according to the rules
the exercise of governmental authority or controlthe rule of Caesar
the period of time in which a monarch or government has powerhis rule lasted 100 days
a customary form or procedure; regular course of actionhe made a morning swim his rule
the rule the common order of things; normal conditionviolence was the rule rather than the exception
a prescribed method or procedure for solving a mathematical problem, or one constituting part of a computer program, usually expressed in an appropriate formalism
a formal expression of a grammatical regularity in a linguistic description of a language
any of various devices with a straight edge for guiding or measuring; rulera carpenter's rule
- a printed or drawn character in the form of a long thin line
- another name for dash 1 (def. 13) en rule; em rule
- a strip of brass or other metal used to print such a line
Christianity a systematic body of prescriptions defining the way of life to be followed by members of a religious order
law an order by a court or judge
as a rule normally or ordinarily
to exercise governing or controlling authority over (a people, political unit, individual, etc)he ruled for 20 years; his passion for her ruled his life
(when tr, often takes a clause as object) to decide authoritatively; decreethe chairman ruled against the proposal
(tr) to mark with straight parallel lines or make one straight line, as with a rulerto rule a margin
(tr) to restrain or controlto rule one's temper
(intr) to be customary or prevalentchaos rules in this school
(intr) to be pre-eminent or superiorfootball rules in the field of sport
(tr) astrology (of a planet) to have a strong affinity with certain human attributes, activities, etc, associated with (one or sometimes two signs of the zodiac)Mars rules Aries
rule the roost or rule the roast to be pre-eminent; be in charge
Derived Formsrulable, adjective
Word Origin for rule
C13: from Old French riule, from Latin rēgula a straight edge; see regulate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Medicine definitions for general rule
[ rōōl ]
A usual, customary, or generalized course of action or behavior.
A generalized statement that describes what is true in most or all cases; a standard.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Idioms and Phrases with general rule
In addition to the idioms beginning with rule
- rule of thumb
- rule out
- rule the roost
- as a rule
- exception proves the rule
- ground rules
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.