- 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 rulesstatute, decree, precedent, guideline, regulation, ruling, test, law, order, control, power, government, administration, authority, domination, reign, sovereignty, regime, policy, practice
Examples from the Web for rules
Contemporary Examples of rules
Rule 16(c) was a proposed change in the rules at the 1976 Republican Convention.
The rules change would have required all candidates to do the same.
We have reached a tipping point in the culture where Americans are now trained to look to the rules instead of their own judgment.
But they refused to cross the street to help because, they told bystanders, the rules required them instead to call 911.
But millions of rules result in perpetual error, and, as a terminal side effect, make leadership and accomplishment illegal.
Historical Examples of rules
We are not obliged to conform to any particular set of rules.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
By these rules of conduct, we hope to be known to all peoples.
The only way to learn the rules of any thing practical is to begin to do the thing.Weighed and Wanting
The book of rules stated explicitly that such things were forbidden.
There were no rules to cover such conduct on the part of a nurse.
- 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