See more synonyms for rubric on
  1. a title, heading, direction, or the like, in a manuscript, book, statute, etc., written or printed in red or otherwise distinguished from the rest of the text.
  2. a direction for the conduct of divine service or the administration of the sacraments, inserted in liturgical books.
  3. any established mode of conduct or procedure; protocol.
  4. an explanatory comment; gloss.
  5. a class or category
  6. Archaic. red ocher.
  1. written, inscribed in, or marked with or as with red; rubrical.
  2. Archaic. red; ruddy.

Origin of rubric

1325–75; < Latin rūbrīca red ocher (derivative of ruber red1); replacing Middle English rubriche, rubrike (noun) < Old French Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rubric

Contemporary Examples of rubric

Historical Examples of rubric

British Dictionary definitions for rubric


  1. a title, heading, or initial letter in a book, manuscript, or section of a legal code, esp one printed or painted in red ink or in some similarly distinguishing manner
  2. a set of rules of conduct or procedure
  3. a set of directions for the conduct of Christian church services, often printed in red in a prayer book or missal
  4. instructions to a candidate at the head of the examination paper
  5. an obsolete name for red ochre
  1. written, printed, or marked in red
Derived Formsrubrical, adjectiverubrically, adverb

Word Origin for rubric

C15 rubrike red ochre, red lettering, from Latin rubrīca (terra) red (earth), ruddle, from ruber red
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

Word Origin and History for rubric

c.1300, "directions in religious services" (often in red writing), from Old French rubrique, rubriche "rubric, title" (13c.), from Latin rubrica "red ochre, red coloring matter," from ruber, from PIE root *rudhro- (see red). Meaning "title or heading of a book" is from early 15c. Related: Rubrical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper