- a formal order or direction made by a court, as for governing the procedure of the court (general rule) or for sending the case before a referee (special rule).
- a legal principle.
- a court order in a particular case.
- a fixed area in the neighborhood of certain prisons within which certain prisoners were allowed to live.
- the freedom of such an area.
verb (used with object), ruled, rul·ing.
verb (used without object), ruled, rul·ing.
- to prove to be unrelated or not for consideration; eliminate; exclude: to rule out the possibility of error.
- to make impossible or impracticable: The rainstorm ruled out the holiday camping.
Origin of rule
Synonyms for rule
Related Words for rulestatute, decree, precedent, guideline, regulation, ruling, test, law, order, control, power, government, administration, authority, domination, reign, sovereignty, regime, policy, practice
Examples from the Web for rule
Contemporary Examples of rule
Obviously, the first obligation of all liberal democratic governments is to enforce the rule of law.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
January 8, 2015
And so the same creeping rot of the rule of law that the administration has inflicted on immigration now bedevils our drug laws.Obama’s Pot Policy Is Refer Madness
January 5, 2015
Rule 16(c) was a proposed change in the rules at the 1976 Republican Convention.The World’s Toughest Political Quiz
December 31, 2014
The rule of law, you see, buckles, bends and sometimes crumbles under the weight of racism, sexism, and classism.What Would Happen if I Got in White Cop’s Face?
December 30, 2014
His rule over the country came to an end in 1979 when the director of the KCIA shot Park and his bodyguard to death at dinner.Propaganda, Protest, and Poisonous Vipers: The Cinema War in Korea
December 30, 2014
Historical Examples of rule
But the Lacedæmonians make it a rule never to speak of danger from their slaves.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
"There was one rule in poker your pa had," said Uncle Peter.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
The effort to make them "disgorge" is as continual as it is noisy, and, as a rule, futile.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
In a republic the first rule for the guidance of the citizen is obedience to law.
But I told him, I would judge him by his own rule—by his actions, not by his professions.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
- a printed or drawn character in the form of a long thin line
- another name for dash 1 (def. 13) en rule; em rule
- a strip of brass or other metal used to print such a line
Word Origin for rule
c.1200, "principle or maxim governing conduct, formula to which conduct must be conformed" from Old French riule, Norman reule "rule, custom, (religious) order" (in Modern French partially re-Latinized as règle), from Vulgar Latin *regula, from Latin regula "straight stick, bar, ruler;" figuratively "a pattern, a model," related to regere "to rule, straighten, guide" (see regal). Replaced Old English wealdan.
Meaning "regulation governing play of a game, etc." is from 1690s. Phrase rule of thumb first attested 1690s. Rule of law "supremacy of impartial and well-defined laws to any individual's power" is from 1883. Meaning "strip used for making straight lines or measuring" is recorded from mid-14c. Typography sense is attested from 1680s.
c.1200, "to control, guide, direct," from Old French riuler "impose rule," from Latin regulare (see regulate). Legal sense "establish by decision" is recorded from early 15c. Meaning "mark with lines" is from 1590s. Meaning "to dominate, prevail" is from 1874. "Rule Brittania," patriotic song, is from 1740. Related: Ruled; ruling.
In addition to the idioms beginning with rule
- rule of thumb
- rule out
- rule the roost
- as a rule
- exception proves the rule
- ground rules