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A manuscript page with rubrics.

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English rubrich, rubrik, through Old French rubrique, from Latin rubrīca (red ochre), the substance used to make red letters, from ruber (red), from Proto-Indo-European *reudh-.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹuːbɹɪk/
  • (file)
  • (file)


rubric (plural rubrics)

  1. A heading in a book highlighted in red.
  2. A title of a category or a class.
    That would fall under the rubric of things we can ignore for now.
  3. (Christianity) The directions for a religious service, formerly printed in red letters.
    • Hook
      All the clergy in England solemnly pledge themselves to observe the rubrics.
  4. An established rule or custom; a guideline.
    • De Quincey
      Nay, as a duty, it had no place or rubric in human conceptions before Christianity.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Cowper to this entry?)
  5. (education) A printed set of scoring criteria for evaluating student work and for giving feedback.
  6. A flourish after a signature.
  7. Red ochre.


Related termsEdit



rubric (comparative more rubric, superlative most rubric)

  1. Coloured or marked with red; placed in rubrics.
    • Alexander Pope
      What though my name stood rubric on the walls / Or plaistered posts, with claps, in capitals?
  2. Of or relating to the rubric or rubrics; rubrical.


rubric (third-person singular simple present rubrics, present participle rubricking, simple past and past participle rubricked)

  1. (transitive) To adorn with red; to redden.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)

Further readingEdit