WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
rule /rul/USA pronunciation   n., v., ruled, rul•ing. 

  1. a principle guiding how one behaves, the way things are done, etc.[countable]a rule in hockey saying to eject anyone fighting.
  1. the customary occurrence, practice, etc.; the normal way something is done[countable]Her being late is the rule rather than the exception.
  1. government;
    amount of time ruling[uncountable]in the days of foreign rule.
  1. [countable] the code of regulations observed by a religious congregation.
  1. Weights and Measuresruler (def. 2).

  1. to use power, authority, or influence over: [+ object]to rule a kingdom.[no object]to rule for only a decade.
  1. to decide in a court of law or by some authority; decree: [no object]How will the court rule?[+ on + object]The court will rule on the matter at its next session.[+ (that) clause]The court ruled that she could not keep her baby.
  1. to mark with lines, esp. parallel straight lines, with the aid of a ruler[+ object]to rule paper.
  1. [+ object] to be superior in (a group), so as to hold influence over.
  1. to influence or control[+ object]sometimes ruled by passion and not by logic.
  1. rule out, to eliminate from thinking about; to decide to ignore: [+ out + object]We can rule out the possibility of an overnight improvement in the economy.[+ object + out]We can't rule it out completely.
    1. Idiomsas a rule, generally; usually:He's there by 7:30 as a rule.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
rule (ro̅o̅l), 
n., v., ruled, rul•ing. 

  1. a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, arrangement, etc.:the rules of chess.
  1. the code of regulations observed by a religious order or congregation:the Franciscan rule.
  1. the customary or normal circumstance, occurrence, manner, practice, quality, etc.:the rule rather than the exception.
  1. control, government, or dominion:under the rule of a dictator.
  1. tenure or conduct of reign or office:during the rule of George III.
  1. a prescribed mathematical method for performing a calculation or solving a problem.
  1. Weights and Measuresruler (def. 2).
  1. Astronomy(cap.)[Astron.]the constellation Norma.
  1. Printing[Print.]a thin, type-high strip of metal, for printing a solid or decorative line or lines.
    • a formal order or direction made by a court, as for governing the procedure of the court(general rule)or for sending the case before a referee(special rule).
    • a legal principle.
    • a court order in a particular case.
rules, [Penol.](formerly)
    • a fixed area in the neighborhood of certain prisons within which certain prisoners were allowed to live.
    • the freedom of such an area.
  1. [Obs.]behavior.
  1. as a rule, generally; usually:He arrives at eleven o'clock, as a rule.

  1. to control or direct;
    exercise dominating power, authority, or influence over;
    govern:to rule the empire with severity.
  1. to decide or declare judicially or authoritatively; decree:The judge ruled that he should be exiled.
  1. to mark with lines, esp. parallel straight lines, with the aid of a ruler or the like:to rule paper.
  1. to mark out or form (a line) by this method:to rule lines on paper.
  1. to be superior or preeminent in (a specific field or group); dominate by superiority;
    hold sway over:For centuries, England ruled the seas.

  1. to exercise dominating power or influence;
  1. to exercise authority, dominion, or sovereignty.
  1. to make a formal decision or ruling, as on a point at law.
  1. to be prevalent or current:Higher prices ruled throughout France.
rule out: 
    • to prove to be unrelated or not for consideration; eliminate;
      exclude:to rule out the possibility of error.
    • to make impossible or impracticable:The rainstorm ruled out the holiday camping.
  1. rule the roost. See roost (def. 4).
  • Late Latin rēgulāre, derivative of rēgula
  • Old French riuler, rieuler, ruler
  • Latin rēgula straight stick, pattern (see regula); (verb, verbal) Middle English riwlen, reulen, rewellen
  • Old French riule
  • (noun, nominal) Middle English riule, reule 1175–1225
1 . standard, law, ruling, guide, precept, order. See principle.  4 . command, domination, mastery, sway, authority, direction. 14 . Rule, administer, command, govern, manage mean to exercise authoritative guidance or direction. Rule implies the exercise of authority as by a sovereign:to rule a kingdom.Administer places emphasis on the planned and orderly procedures used:to administer the finances of an institution.Command suggests military authority and the power to exact obedience; to be in command of:to command a ship.To govern is authoritatively to guide or direct persons or things, esp. in the affairs of a large administrative unit:to govern a state.To manage is to conduct affairs, i.e., to guide them in a unified way toward a definite goal, or to direct or control people, often by tact, address, or artifice:to manage a business. 15 . order, judge.
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
rul•er /ˈrulɚ/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
    1. one who rules or governs, as a king, queen, president, etc.
    1. Weights and MeasuresAlso,rule. a strip of wood or other material that has a straight edge and is marked off in inches or centimeters, used for drawing lines and measuring.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
rul•er  (ro̅o̅lər), 
    1. a person who rules or governs;
    1. Weights and MeasuresAlso,rule. a strip of wood, metal, or other material having a straight edge and usually marked off in inches or centimeters, used for drawing lines, measuring, etc.
    1. a person or thing that rules paper, wood, etc.
    1. Astrology[Astrol.]the planet primarily associated with any sign of the zodiac or any house of the horoscope:The ruler of Aries is Mars. The ruler of Taurus is Venus.
Middle English;
see rule, -er1

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

rule /ruːl/ n
  1. an authoritative regulation or direction concerning method or procedure, as for a court of law, legislative body, game, or other human institution or activity: judges' rules, play according to the rules
  2. the exercise of governmental authority or control: the rule of Caesar
  3. the period of time in which a monarch or government has power: his rule lasted 100 days
  4. a customary form or procedure; regular course of action: he made a morning swim his rule
  5. the rulethe common order of things; normal condition: violence was the rule rather than the exception
  6. a prescribed method or procedure for solving a mathematical problem, or one constituting part of a computer program, usually expressed in an appropriate formalism
  7. any of various devices with a straight edge for guiding or measuring; ruler: a carpenter's rule
  8. a printed or drawn character in the form of a long thin line
  9. another name for dash1: en rule, em rule
  10. a strip of brass or other metal used to print such a line
  11. a systematic body of prescriptions defining the way of life to be followed by members of a religious order
  12. an order by a court or judge
  13. as a rulenormally or ordinarily
  1. to exercise governing or controlling authority over (a people, political unit, individual, etc)
  2. (when tr, often takes a clause as object) to decide authoritatively; decree: the chairman ruled against the proposal
  3. (transitive) to mark with straight parallel lines or make one straight line, as with a ruler
  4. (transitive) to restrain or control
  5. (intransitive) to be customary or prevalent: chaos rules in this school
  6. (intransitive) to be pre-eminent or superior: football rules in the field of sport
  7. rule the roost, rule the roastto be pre-eminent; be in charge
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French riule, from Latin rēgula a straight edge; see regulate

ˈrulable adj

'rule' also found in these entries:


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