from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Governing power or its possession or use; authority.
  • noun The duration of such power.
  • noun An authoritative, prescribed direction for conduct, especially one of the regulations governing procedure in a legislative body or a regulation observed by the players in a game, sport, or contest.
  • noun The body of regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for governing the conduct of its members.
  • noun A usual, customary, or generalized course of action or behavior.
  • noun A generalized statement that describes what is true in most or all cases.
  • noun Mathematics A standard method or procedure for solving a class of problems.
  • noun A court decision serving as a precedent for subsequent cases.
  • noun A legal doctrine or principle.
  • noun A court order.
  • noun A minor regulation or law.
  • noun A statute or regulation governing the court process.
  • noun Printing A thin metal strip of various widths and designs, used to print borders or lines, as between columns.
  • intransitive verb To exercise control, dominion, or direction over; govern.
  • intransitive verb To have a powerful influence over; dominate.
  • intransitive verb To be a preeminent or dominant factor in.
  • intransitive verb To decide or declare authoritatively or judicially; decree: synonym: decide.
  • intransitive verb To mark with straight parallel lines.
  • intransitive verb To mark (a straight line), as with a ruler.
  • intransitive verb To be in total control or command; exercise supreme authority.
  • intransitive verb To formulate and issue a decree or decision.
  • intransitive verb To prevail at a particular level or rate.
  • intransitive verb Slang To be excellent or superior.
  • idiom (as a rule) In general; for the most part.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Revel; revelry.
  • To make conformable to a rule, pattern, or standard; adjust or dispose according to rule; regulate; hence, to guide or order aright.
  • To settle as by a rule; in law, to establish by decision or rule; determine; decide: thus, a court is said to rule a point.
  • To have or exercise authority or dominion over; govern; command; control; manage; restrain.
  • To prevail on; persuade; advise: generally or always in the passive, so that to be ruled by is to take the advice or follow the directions of.
  • To dominate; have a predominant influence or effect upon or in.
  • To mark with lines by means of a ruler; produce parallel straight lines in, by any means: as, to rule a blank book. See ruled paper, under paper.
  • To mark with or as with the aid of a ruler or a ruling-machine: as, to rule lines on paper.
  • Any surface, as of paper or metal, upon which a series of parallel lines has been marked or cut.
  • Synonyms and Control, Regulate, etc. See govern.
  • To have power or command; exercise supreme authority.
  • To prevail; decide.
  • In law: To decide.
  • To lay down and settle a rule or order of court; order by rule; enter a rule.
  • In com., to stand or maintain a level.
  • noun An instrument with an edge approximately straight, subserving purposes of measurement.
  • noun A formula to which conduct must be conformed; a minor law, canon, or regulation, especially a regulation which a person imposes upon himself: as, the rules of whist.
  • noun Specifically— In monasteries or other religious societies, the code of laws required to be observed by the society and its individual members: as, the rule of St. Benedict, the rule of St. Basil, etc.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English reule, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *regula, from Latin rēgula, rod, principle; see reg- in Indo-European roots.]


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    June 14, 2008

  • Huh huh huh. Words, like, rule.

    June 14, 2008

  • Words like rule rule. Or do words like like rule?

    June 14, 2008

  • RULE: Nonurban, as “He comes from the rule area.”

    July 2, 2012