• Rule


    • Rhymes: -uːl


    • noun: from Middle English rule, from Old French riule, from Vulgar Latin regula ("straight stick, bar, ruler, pattern"), from regere ("to keep straight, direct, govern, rule"); see regent.
    • verb: from Middle English rulen, from Old French riuler, from Latin regulare ("to regulate, rule"), from regula ("a rule"); see regular.

    Full definition of rule



    (plural rules)
    1. A regulation, law, guideline.
      • TillotsonWe profess to have embraced a religion which contains the most exact rules for the government of our lives.
      • 2013-06-22, T time, The ability to shift profits to low-tax countries by locating intellectual property in them...is often assumed to be the preserve of high-tech companies....current tax rules make it easy for all sorts of firms to generate...“stateless income”: profit subject to tax in a jurisdiction that is neither the location of the factors of production that generate the income nor where the parent firm is domiciled.
    2. A ruler; device for measuring, a straightedge, a measure.
      • SouthA judicious artist will use his eye, but he will trust only to his rule.
    3. A straight line (continuous mark, as made by a pen or the like), especially one lying across a paper as a guide for writing.
    4. A regulating principle.
      • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, All's well that ends well, Act I, scene I:There's little can be said in 't; 'Tis against the rule of nature.
    5. The act of ruling; administration of law; government; empire; authority; control.
      • Bible, Hebrews xiii. 17Obey them that have the rule over you.
      • Alexander PopeHis stern rule the groaning land obeyed.
    6. A normal condition or state of affairs.My rule is to rise at six o'clock.
      As a rule, our senior editors are serious-minded.
    7. (obsolete) Conduct; behaviour.
      • ShakespeareThis uncivil rule; she shall know of it.
    8. (legal) An order regulating the practice of the courts, or an order made between parties to an action or a suit.
    9. (math) A determinate method prescribed for performing any operation and producing a certain result.a rule for extracting the cube root
    10. (printing, dated) A thin plate of brass or other metal, of the same height as the type, and used for printing lines, as between columns on the same page, or in tabular work.


    1. (transitive) To regulate, be in charge of, make decisions for, reign over.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 13, And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes. He said that if you wanted to do anything for them, you must rule them, not pamper them. Soft heartedness caused more harm than good.
    2. (slang, intransitive) To excel.
      This game rules!
    3. (transitive) To mark (paper or the like) with rules (lines).
    4. (intransitive) To decide judicially.
      • 2013-06-21, Karen McVeigh, US rules human genes can't be patented, The US supreme court has ruled unanimously that natural human genes cannot be patented, a decision that scientists and civil rights campaigners said removed a major barrier to patient care and medical innovation.
    5. (transitive) To establish or settle by, or as by, a rule; to fix by universal or general consent, or by common practice.
      • AtterburyThat's a ruled case with the schoolmen.


    • (to excel) rock also slang


    • (to excel) suck vulgar slang


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