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golden rule

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noun
  1. a rule of ethical conduct, usually phrased “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or, as in the Sermon on the Mount, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them.” Matt. 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.”
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Origin of golden rule

First recorded in 1800–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for golden rule

Historical Examples

  • In Paris her golden-rule philosophy had been turned topsy-turvy.

    The Gay Cockade

    Temple Bailey

  • Of course, the word "rule" is often used to designate a principle—as in the case of the phrase "golden-rule."

    Ethics

    John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts


British Dictionary definitions for golden rule

golden rule

noun
  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 principlea golden rule of sailing is to wear a life jacket
  3. British the principle advocated by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown (in office 1997–2007) that a government should only borrow to invest
  4. another name for rule of three
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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

Idioms and Phrases with golden rule

golden rule

see under do unto others.

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