golden rule

[ gohl-duhn rool ]
See synonyms for golden rule on
  1. a rule of ethical conduct, usually phrased “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” paraphrased from the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31.

  2. any philosophy, guiding principle, or ideal of behavior, as in a discipline, pursuit, or business: The protesters agreed that their golden rule would be “no violence.”

Origin of golden rule

First recorded in 1550–60 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use golden rule in a sentence

  • He set down as the second the golden rule, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.”

    The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
  • We should like very much to do business according to the golden rule.

    By the Christmas Fire | Samuel McChord Crothers
  • In another connection, we had the benefit of the advantageous side of the golden rule.

    Paris Vistas | Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • Emerson's word fell like truth itself, "a shaft of light shot from the zenith," a golden rule of thought and action.

  • Hence the golden rule which follows, and hence its connection with the prayer-charter by the word "therefore."

British Dictionary definitions for golden rule

golden rule

  1. any of a number of rules of fair conduct, such as Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12) or thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Leviticus 19:28)

  2. any important principle: a golden rule of sailing is to wear a life jacket

  1. British the principle advocated by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown (in office 1997–2007) that a government should only borrow to invest

  2. another name for rule of three

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with golden rule

golden rule

see under do unto others.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.