ground rules

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.

Words Nearby ground rules

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

  • 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.

  • 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