Rule - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |ruːl|  American pronunciation of the word rule
Brit.  |ruːl|  British pronunciation of the word rule


- a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior (syn: regulation)
it was his rule to take a walk before breakfast
- something regarded as a normative example (syn: convention, formula, normal, pattern)
violence is the rule not the exception
- prescribed guide for conduct or action (syn: prescript)
- (linguistics) a rule describing (or prescribing) a linguistic practice
- a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct (syn: principle)
- the duration of a monarch's or government's power
during the rule of Elizabeth
- dominance or power through legal authority (syn: dominion)
the rule of Caesar
- directions that define the way a game or sport is to be conducted
he knew the rules of chess
- any one of a systematic body of regulations defining the way of life of members of a religious order
the rule of St. Dominic
- a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system (syn: principle)
the right-hand rule for inductive fields
- (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems (syn: formula)
he determined the upper bound with Descartes' rule of signs
- 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 (syn: ruler)


- exercise authority over; as of nations (syn: govern)
- decide with authority (syn: decree)
- be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance (syn: dominate, predominate, prevail, reign)
- decide on and make a declaration about (syn: find)
- have an affinity with; of signs of the zodiac
- mark or draw with a ruler
rule the margins
- keep in check (syn: harness, rein)
rule one's temper

Extra examples

I understand the basic rules of chess.

As long as you're living under our roof, you'll follow our rules.

The college has strict rules for qualifying for financial assistance.

The new rule allows employees to dress casually on Fridays.

Under the new rules, casual dress is now allowed.

The company's rules and regulations

It's important to learn the rules of the road before taking your driving test.

It's against the rules to eat during class.

He violated the unwritten rule that you must thank your host before you leave a party.

If you break the rules, you'll be asked to leave.

The queen ruled for 25 years.

A dynasty ruled over this region during the 11th century.

Who will be the next leader to rule the country?

All of his actions were ruled by his religion.

The court ruled in favor of the defendant.

Phrasal verbs

rule out  — make impossible, especially beforehand

Word forms

I/you/we/they: rule
he/she/it: rules
present participle: ruling
past tense: ruled
past participle: ruled
singular: rule
plural: rules
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