Word of the Day: rule

Word of the Day
June 17, 2016
rule (noun, verb)
/rul/  sound icon
You can use a ruler to help you rule lines on a piece of paper.
A rule is a principle that says how things are to be done and how people are to behave, and it is also a normal practice or way something is. Rule also means 'control' or 'domination' and is also the code of regulations for a religious community. As a verb, rule means 'to control or use power over something or someone,' 'to declare with authority,' and 'to be prevalent'. It also means 'to mark (a paper) with lines.'


Example sentences
There is a rule that all children at this school have to wear a uniform.
Finishing my work early on Fridays has become the rule, rather than the exception.
We are lucky that this country is under the rule of a democratic government and not a dictator.
All the members of this religion are expected to obey the rule of the order.
The village elders rule this community.
The judge ruled that the company was negligent and ordered them to pay compensation.
Whenever the teacher left the room, chaos ruled.
If you have trouble keeping your writing straight, try ruling the page first.


Words often used with rule
as a rule: generally, usually. Example: "As a rule, I get up early and go for a run before work."
the rules of the game: the way something is normally done. Example: "I'm sorry if you don't like it, but those are the rules of the game."
rules are made to be broken: rules are good as guidance, but sometimes you have to do things differently. Example: "My diet doesn't allow me to eat ice cream, but rules are made to be broken."
Multi-word forms
rule out: dismiss something completely. Example: "The workforce wanted to reorganize their working hours into a four-day week, but management ruled it out."
rule the roost: be in charge or dominant. Example: "In our house, it's definitely my mother who rules the roost."
rule of thumb: a broad principle or approximate way of doing things. Example: "When making pastry, as a rule of thumb, you should use half the amount of fat to the amount of flour."
Did you know?
Informally, rule can also be used without an object to mean that something is the best. Example: "When it comes to online dictionaries, WordReference rules!"
Other forms
ruler (noun)
Rule dates back to the late 12th or early 13th century and comes from the Late Latin word rēgulāre, a derivative of rēgula. The noun can be traced through the Old French word riuler, rieuler, or ruler, meaning 'straight stick, pattern,' and more recently from the Middle English word riwlen, reulen, or rewellen; the verb comes from the Old French word riule, and the Middle English word riule or reule.
Rule in other languages
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