- 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.
- 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 1800–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for golden rule
- 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)
- any important principlea golden rule of sailing is to wear a life jacket
- British the principle advocated by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown (in office 1997–2007) that a government should only borrow to invest
- another name for rule of three
Idioms and Phrases with 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.