From Middle English reule, rewle, rule, borrowed from Old French riule, reule, from Latin regula (“straight stick, bar, ruler, pattern”), from regō (“to keep straight, direct, govern, rule”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₃réǵeti (“to straighten; right”), from the root *h₃reǵ-; see regent.
- A regulation, law, guideline.
- All participants must adhere to the rules.
- a. 1694, John Tillotson, Of The Obligations of Christians to a Holy Life
- We profess to have embraced a religion which contains the most exact rules for the government of our lives.
- 2013 June 22, “T time”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 68:
- 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.
- A regulating principle.
- c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
- There's little can be said in 't; 'Tis against the rule of nature.
- The act of ruling; administration of law; government; empire; authority; control.
- 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.
- (obsolete) Conduct; behaviour.
- (law) An order regulating the practice of the courts, or an order made between parties to an action or a suit.
- (mathematics) A determinate method prescribed for performing any operation and producing a certain result.
- a rule for extracting the cube root
- A ruler; device for measuring, a straightedge, a measure.
- A straight line (continuous mark, as made by a pen or the like), especially one lying across a paper as a guide for writing.
- (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.
- 8x8 rule
- Abegg's rule
- em rule
- Emery's rule
- en rule
- exception that proves the rule
- five-second rule
- Fleming's right-hand rule
- golden rule
- looks-like-a-function rule
- rule of action
- rule of law
- rule of the road
- rule of the shorter term
- rule of thumb
- (transitive, stative) To regulate, be in charge of, make decisions for, reign over.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XIII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
- 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.
- (slang, intransitive, stative) To excel.
- This game rules!
- (intransitive) To decide judicially.
- 2013 June 21, Karen McVeigh, “US rules human genes can't be patented”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 10:
- 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.
- (transitive) To establish or settle by, or as by, a rule; to fix by universal or general consent, or by common practice.
- (transitive) To mark (paper or the like) with rules (lines).
- (to excel): rock (also slang)
- (to excel): suck (vulgar slang)
Related to revel.
- “rule” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- “rule” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.