Definitions for: Rule


[n] 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
[n] something regarded as a normative example; "the convention of not naming the main character"; "violence is the rule not the exception"; "his formula for impressing visitors"
[n] a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior; "it was his rule to take a walk before breakfast"; "short haircuts were the regulation"
[n] (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems; "he determined the upper bound with Descartes' rule of signs"; "he gave us a general formula for attacking polynomials"
[n] a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system; "the principle of the conservation of mass"; "the principle of jet propulsion"; "the right-hand rule for inductive fields"
[n] a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; "their principles of composition characterized all their works"
[n] a systematic body of regulations defining the way of life of members of a religious order; "the rule of St. Dominic"
[n] prescribed guide for conduct or action
[n] directions that define the way a game or sport is to be conducted; "he knew the rules of chess"
[n] (linguistics) a rule describing (or prescribing) a linguistic practice
[n] the duration of a monarch's or government's power; "during the rule of Elizabeth"
[n] dominance or power through legal authority; "France held undisputed dominion over vast areas of Africa"; "the rule of Caesar"
[v] keep in check; "rule one's temper"
[v] decide with authority
[v] decide on and make a declaration about; "find someone guilty"
[v] mark or draw with a ruler; of margins
[v] exercise authority over; as of nations; "Who is governing the country now?"
[v] be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance; "Money reigns supreme here"; "Hispanics predominate in this neighborhood"
[v] have an affinity with; of signs of the zodiac



Webster (1913) Definition: Rule, n.

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. Run Run, n.
1. (Piquet, Cribbage, etc.) A number of cards of the same
suit in sequence; as, a run of four in hearts.

2. (Golf)
(a) The movement communicated to a golf ball by running.
(b) The distance a ball travels after touching the ground
from a stroke.


Rule, n. [OE. reule, riule, OF. riule, reule, F.
r['e]gle, 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:
(a) Uniform or established course of things.

'T is against the rule of nature. --Shak.
(b) Systematic method or practice; as, my ule is to rise
at six o'clock.
(c) Ordibary course of procedure; usual way; comon state
or condition of things; as, it is a rule to which
there are many exeptions.
(d) 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) A straight strip of wood, metal, or the like, which
serves as a guide in drawing a straight line; a ruler.
(b) 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) 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.
(b) 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 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
(b) .

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.

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


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.


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.

Synonyms: convention, decree, dominate, dominion, find, formula, govern, harness, linguistic rule, normal, pattern, predominate, prescript, prevail, principle, regulation, reign, rein, ruler

See Also: accompany, algorithm, algorithmic program, algorithmic rule, ascendance, ascendancy, ascendence, ascendency, attach to, book, bound, bye law, bylaw, canon, carpenter's rule, close out, code of behavior, code of conduct, come with, command, communications protocol, concept, concept, conception, conception, confine, construct, construct, continuance, control, control, cy pres, cy pres doctrine, decide, determine, dictate, dictate, direction, dominance, draw, duration, etiquette, foot rule, generalisation, generality, generalization, GIGO, go with, golden rule, grammatical rule, Gresham's Law, ground rule, guideline, guidepost, heuristic, heuristic program, heuristic rule, Huygens' principle of superposition, instruction, judge, label, law, law of nature, law of parsimony, Le Chatelier principle, Le Chatelier-Braun principle, Le Chatelier's law, Le Chatelier's principle, limit, limitation, localisation, localisation of function, localisation principle, localization, localization of function, localization principle, make up one's mind, mass action, mass-action principle, measure, measuring rod, measuring stick, metarule, meterstick, metrestick, Miranda rule, misgovern, mores, morphological rule, Naegele's rule, Occam's Razor, Ockham's Razor, order, ordinance, outbalance, outweigh, overarch, overbalance, override, override, overrule, overthrow, overturn, paramountcy, parliamentary law, parliamentary procedure, pillar, practice, precept, preclude, preponderate, principle, principle of equivalence, principle of liquid displacement, principle of parsimony, principle of superposition, procedure, process, pronounce, protocol, raj, recursion, redound, Regency, regulation, reign, reign, restrain, restrict, restriction, reverse, rubric, rule book, rule in, rule of cy pres, rule of evidence, rule of grammar, rule of morphology, rule of thumb, rule out, rules of order, sovereignty, superposition, suzerainty, throne, throttle, trammel, working principle, working rule, yard measure, yardstick

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