View synonyms for golden rule

golden rule

[ gohl-duhn rool ]


  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.”

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

  3. 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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Word History and Origins

Origin of golden rule1

First recorded in 1550–60

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Idioms and Phrases

see under do unto others .

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Example Sentences

A version of the Golden Rule is at the heart of every religion.

It is a bet that the existence of the Golden Rule in almost every major religion is no cosmic coincidence.

“The new golden rule of democracy in Egypt has to be that the judiciary is completely independent,” says Abdellatty.

If he had, he would know the golden rule of being interviewed by the police: ask for a lawyer and say nothing.

Their golden rule is moderation—especially in the good things.

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

We should like very much to do business according to the Golden Rule.

In another connection, we had the benefit of the advantageous side of the Golden Rule.

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."


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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