Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of Rule
Meaning of rule by Wiktionary Dictionary



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


    • Rhymes: -uːl


    rule ( plural: rules )

    1. A regulation, law, guideline .
    2. A ruler; device for measuring, a straightedge, a measure .
    3. Something to keep order .

    Related terms


    to rule ( third-person singular simple present rules present participle ruling, simple past and past participle ruled )

    1. To regulate, be in charge of, make decisions for, reign over .
    2. ( slang, intransitive ) To excel .
      This game rules!



    Derived terms

    External links

    • rule in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • rule in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911


Explanation of rule by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. keep in check

    2. rule one's temper
    3. decide with authority

    4. decide on and make a declaration about

    5. mark or draw with a ruler

    6. rule the margins
    7. exercise authority over

    8. be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance

    9. have an affinity with

    1. measuring stick consisting of a strip of wood or metal or plastic with a straight edge that is used for drawing straight lines and measuring lengths

    2. something regarded as a normative example

    3. violence is the rule not the exception
    4. a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior

    5. it was his rule to take a walk before breakfast
    6. a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems

    7. he determined the upper bound with Descartes' rule of signs
    8. a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system

    9. the right-hand rule for inductive fields
    10. a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct

    11. any one of a systematic body of regulations defining the way of life of members of a religious order

    12. the rule of St. Dominic
    13. prescribed guide for conduct or action

    14. directions that define the way a game or sport is to be conducted

    15. he knew the rules of chess
    16. a rule describing ( or prescribing ) a linguistic practice

    17. dominance or power through legal authority

    18. the rule of Caesar
    19. the duration of a monarch's or government's power

    20. during the rule of Elizabeth

    Definition of rule by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Rule n. [OE. reule, riule, OF. riule, reule, F. régle, fr. L. regula a ruler, rule, model, fr. regere, rectum, to lead straight, to direct. See Right, a., and cf. Regular.]
      1. That which is prescribed or laid down as a guide for conduct or action; a governing direction for a specific purpose; an authoritative enactment; a regulation; a prescription; a precept; as, “the rules of various societies; the rules governing a school; a rule of etiquette or propriety; the rules of cricket”.

      We profess to have embraced a religion which contains the most exact rules for the government of our lives. Tillotson.

      2. Hence: Uniform or established course of things.

      'T is against the rule of nature. Shak.

      Systematic method or practice; as, my ule is to rise at six o'clock. Ordibary course of procedure; usual way; comon state or condition of things; as, “it is a rule to which there are many exeptions”. Conduct in general; behavior. [Obs.]

      This uncivil rule; she shall know of it. Shak.

      3. The act of ruling; administration of law; government; empire; authority; control.

      Obey them that have the rule over you. Heb. xiii. 17.

      His stern rule the groaning land obeyed. Pope.

      4. ( Law ) An order regulating the practice of the courts, or an order made between parties to an action or a suit. Wharton.

      5. ( Math. ) A determinate method prescribed for performing any operation and producing a certain result; as, “a rule for extracting the cube root”.

      6. ( Gram. ) A general principle concerning the formation or use of words, or a concise statement thereof; thus, it is a rule in England, that s or es , added to a noun in the singular number, forms the plural of that noun; but “man” forms its plural “men”, and is an exception to the rule.

      7. A straight strip of wood, metal, or the like, which serves as a guide in drawing a straight line; a ruler. A measuring instrument consisting of a graduated bar of wood, ivory, metal, or the like, which is usually marked so as to show inches and fractions of an inch, and jointed so that it may be folded compactly.

      A judicious artist will use his eye, but he will trust only to his rule. South.

      8. ( Print. ) A thin plate of metal ( usually brass ) of the same height as the type, and used for printing lines, as between columns on the same page, or in tabular work. A composing rule. See under Conposing.

      As a rule, as a general thing; in the main; usually; as, “he behaves well, as a rule”. -- Board rule, Caliber rule, etc. See under Board, Caliber, etc. -- Rule joint, a knuckle joint having shoulders that abut when the connected pieces come in line with each other, and thus permit folding in one direction only. -- Rule of the road ( Law ), any of the various regulations imposed upon travelers by land or water for their mutual convenience or safety. In the United States it is a rule of the road that land travelers passing in opposite directions shall turn out each to his own right, and generally that overtaking persons or vehicles shall turn out to the left; in England the rule for vehicles ( but not for pedestrians ) is the opposite of this. -- Rule of three ( Arith. ), that rule which directs, when three terms are given, how to find a fourth, which shall have the same ratio to the third term as the second has to the first; proportion. See Proportion, 5 -- Rule of thumb, any rude process or operation,
      like that of using the thumb as a rule in measuring; hence, judgment and practical experience as distinguished from scientific knowledge.

    2. Rule, n.

      Syn. -- regulation; law; precept; maxim; guide; canon; order; method; direction; control; government; sway; empire.

    3. Rule, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ruled ; p. pr. & vb. n. Ruling.] [Cf. OF. riuler, ruiler, L. regulare. See Rule, n., and cf. Regulate.]
      1. To control the will and actions of; to exercise authority or dominion over; to govern; to manage. Chaucer.

      A bishop then must be blameless; . . . one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection. 1 Tim. iii. 2, 4.

      2. To control or direct by influence, counsel, or persuasion; to guide; -- used chiefly in the passive.

      I think she will be ruled

      In all respects by me. Shak.

      3. To establish or settle by, or as by, a rule; to fix by universal or general consent, or by common practice.

      That's are ruled case with the schoolmen. Atterbury.

      4. ( Law ) To require or command by rule; to give as a direction or order of court.

      5. To mark with lines made with a pen, pencil, etc., guided by a rule or ruler; to print or mark with lines by means of a rule or other contrivance effecting a similar result; as, “to rule a sheet of paper of a blank book”.

      Ruled surface ( Geom. ), any surface that may be described by a straight line moving according to a given law; -- called also a scroll.

    4. Rule, v. i.
      1. To have power or command; to exercise supreme authority; -- often followed by over.

      By me princes rule, and nobles. Prov. viii. 16.

      We subdue and rule over all other creatures. Ray.

      2. ( Law ) To lay down and settle a rule or order of court; to decide an incidental point; to enter a rule. Burril. Bouvier.

      3. ( Com. ) To keep within a ( certain ) range for a time; to be in general, or as a rule; as, “prices ruled lower yesterday than the day before”.