Basic procedures of conduct, as in The press secretary sets the ground rules for all of the President's press conferences. The term comes from baseball, where it refers to specific rules for a particular ballpark, which are based on special conditions such as a very high outfield fence or a field obstruction of some kind. It began to be transferred to more general use in the mid-1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use ground rules in a sentence
This is a country that more or less invented the basic ground rules for the pursuit of happiness.Obama’s Extravagant Summer Break? More Like, America’s Vacation-Deficit Disorder | Clive Irving | August 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
So ground rules would be more essential if we didn't think Sophia was embracing what she sees of the process.
They say they are planning the equivalent of a gentlemanly fight, staged with certain unilateral ground rules.A Veteran Sees Echoes of Iraq and Argues Against Intervention in Syria | Brian Van Reet | September 9, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
He added: “I blame myself for not nailing down in absolute lawyerly terms what the ground rules were.”At the Obama White House: Transparency Transhmarency | Lloyd Grove | August 23, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
It seems we need some new ground rules if we are to win the case for Israel in the public arena.
While he would have girls know the four ground rules of arithmetic, that is about all they should have except domestic training.History of Education | Levi Seeley
The terms sum, remainder, product, and quotient are frequently applied indiscriminately in the four ground rules of arithmetic.Popular Education | Ira Mayhew
One of the cowboys came for Castleton and led him away to exploit upon ground rules.The Light of Western Stars | Zane Grey
Some interesting items are to be found among the ground rules.The Happy Golfer | Henry Leach
He learned nothing of Grammar; nor did he get at school so much knowledge of common Arithmetic as the Four ground rules.John Brown, Soldier of Fortune | Hill Peebles Wilson