Meaning of RULE in English


I. ˈrül noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English riwle, reule, riule, from Old French reule, riule, from Latin regula straightedge, rule, from regere to lead straight, guide — more at right


a. : a prescribed, suggested, or self-imposed guide for conduct or action : a regulation or principle

his parents laid down the rule that he must do his homework before going out to play

a very sound rule for any hiker is to mind his own business — F.D.Smith & Barbara Wilcox

made it a rule never to lose his temper

b. : the laws or regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for observance by its members

the rule of St. Dominic

c. : an accepted procedure, custom, or habit having the force of a regulation

we are bound by the rules of our culture to conceal such matters — Marjorie Fischer

the rule of the house was an early bedtime


(1) : a usually written order or direction made by a court regulating court practice or the action of parties but not making a final judgment on the merits of a controversy

(2) : a legal precept applied to a given set of facts as stating the law applicable to a case

(3) : a statement or doctrine accepted as part of the common law — see rule against perpetuities

e. : a regulation or bylaw governing procedure in a public or private body (as a legislature or club) or controlling the conduct of its members

a rule for limiting debate

a rule against insulting language

a rule for the admission of new members

f. : one of a set of usually official regulations by which an activity (as a sport) is governed

the infield fly rule

the rules of professional basketball



(1) : a statement of a fact or relationship generally found to hold good : a usually valid generalization

the exception proves the rule

(2) : a generally prevailing condition, quality, state, or mode of activity or behavior

fair weather was the rule yesterday afternoon over most of the nation — New York Times

persons in whose families high blood pressure was the rule rather than the exception — Morris Fishbein

b. : a standard by which something is judged or valued : criterion

“good enough” becomes the rule and enters into the character of our theater life — Leslie Rees


(1) : a principle regulating or held to regulate the practice of an art or science

the rules of perspective

the rules of harmony

the rules of versification

(2) : a principle regulating or held to regulate the form and use of words

a knowledge of the irrefragable rules of the comma was mistaken for a knowledge of language — Charlton Laird


(1) : a determinate method prescribed for performing a mathematical operation and attaining a certain result

(2) dialect : recipe



(1) : the exercise of authority or control : dominion , government , sway

under his firm rule , however, conditions quickly improved — C.M.Fuess

establishing a single rule throughout the kingdom far and wide — B.N.Cardozo

(2) : a period during which a specified ruler or government exercises control

during the rule of the Caesars

in the first year of the rule of the republic

b. : the state of being governed : control

to a child, winter … was confinement, school, rule , discipline — Henry Adams



(1) : an instrument for measuring or ruling off lengths that consists of a strip or strips of material (as wood, metal, or tape) marked off in units of length (as inches or centimeters)

(2) : ruler 2a


(1) : a metal strip with a type-high face that prints a linear design

(2) Britain : dash 3e

(3) : line gauge

(4) : composing rule

(5) : makeup rule

5. obsolete : behavior , conduct

this uncivil rule — Shakespeare


a. rules plural : a limited area formerly established near a prison for the residence of prisoners of certain categories (as debtors)

b. : the freedom to live in such an area

was a prisoner on rule

Synonyms: see law

- as a rule

- under the rule

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English riwlen, reulen, rulen, from Old French reuler, riuler, from Latin regulare, from regula rule

transitive verb


a. : to control, direct, or influence the mind, character, or actions of

so long as she could rule her own mind she was not afraid of the forces without — Ellen Glasgow

what rules an Admission Dean's judgment in the midwinter heat of competition — V.S.Carruthers

be ruled by me and have a care o' the crowd — Robert Browning

b. : to curb or moderate by the use of self-control

went on a diet but found it difficult to rule her appetite

c. : to exercise control over : guide , manage

rule a horse


a. : to exercise authority or power over : govern

became Speaker and for nearly two years ruled the Assembly with a rod of iron — E.H.Collis

the territory is ruled by a high commissioner — Americana Annual

b. : to hold preeminence in (as by ability, strength, or position) : dominate

an actor who rules the Shakespearean stage

ruled the featherweight division — Providence (R.I.) Evening Bulletin

c. : to play a dominant role in or exert a controlling influence over

profit taking ruled the stock market yesterday — Wall Street Journal

the monsoon seasons, which rule the climate in a great part of Asia — Owen & Eleanor Lattimore


a. : to declare authoritatively : decide , decree , determine ; specifically : to require or command by judicial rule : give as a direction, order, or determination of a court

b. : to consider as : judge

at the risk of really being ruled a maverick — Irving Kolodin



(1) : to mark with lines drawn along the straight edge of a ruler

rule a sheet of paper

: print or mark with lines by means of a rule

a pad of ruled yellow paper

(2) : to mark (a line) on a paper with a ruler

ruled vertical lines on the sheet

b. : to arrange in a straight line or mark off in lines as if with a ruler

nor were the eyebrows bushy like most old men's, but smoothly ruled — Clemence Dane

flowering shrubs which ruled the mountain walls like a sheet of paper — John Muir †1914

intransitive verb


a. : to have power or command : exercise supreme authority

ruled wisely over his subjects — Time

a king who reigns but does not rule

b. : to exercise control : predominate

the physical did not rule in her nature — Sherwood Anderson


a. : to prevail at a specified rate or level

prices had ruled high — Robert Hunter

in the offshore islands … temperature and humidity rule higher than on the mainland — Internat'l Reference Service

b. : to exist in a specified state or condition


a. : to lay down a legal rule or order of court

b. : to decide an incidental legal point

c. : to enter a rule

Synonyms: see decide

- rule the roast

III. intransitive verb

slang : to be extremely cool or popular — used as a generalized term of praise or approval

for a little attitude at the right price, sneakers rule — Tish Hamilton

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.