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Header of rule


Rule appears in the following tongue twister:

  • A loyal warrior will rarely worry why we rule.
    (by Ray Weisling)

Rule appears in the following palindrome (phrase that reads the same backward as forward):

  • "Evil yams parcel truth to be lurid," I rule, "both turtle craps may live".
View more palindromes!

Usage statistics for the noun rule:

spoken English29.68%written English70.32% conversational speech17.33%task-oriented speech82.67% imaginative writing17.71%informational writing82.29%
View more statistics!

The word rule is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: Chinese New Year , a rule of Yuyuan Garden , Shanghai night , people visit the Yuyuan Garden in play lantern , 2016
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Definition of the noun rule

What does rule mean as a name of something?

Rule is one of the top 1000 most common nouns. It is used mostly in informational writing, being one of the top 1000 most common nouns in informational written English.View more statistics!

noun - plural: rules

  1. a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior
  2. something regarded as a normative example
    • example: violence is the rule not the exception
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • synonyms of rule: convention / formula / normal / pattern
    • more generic word: practice = knowledge of how something is usually done
    • more specific terms:
      • mores = the conventions that embody the fundamental values of a group
      • code of behavior / code of conduct = a set of conventional principles and expectations that are considered binding on any person who is a member of a particular group
      • universal = a behavioral convention or pattern characteristic of all members of a particular culture or of all human beings
  3. prescribed guide for conduct or action
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonym of rule: prescript
    • more generic words: direction / instruction = a message describing how something is to be done
    • more specific terms:
      • bylaw = a rule adopted by an organization in order to regulate its own affairs and the behavior of its members
      • rubric = an authoritative rule of conduct or procedure
      • parliamentary procedure / parliamentary law / rules of order / order = a body of rules followed by an assembly
      • rule of evidence = a rule of law whereby any alleged matter of fact that is submitted for investigation at a judicial trial is established or disproved
      • Miranda rule = the rule that police (when interrogating you after an arrest) are obliged to warn you that anything you say may be used as evidence and to read you your constitutional rights
      • principle / precept = rule of personal conduct
      • golden rule = any important rule
      • GIGO = a rule stating that the quality of the output is a function of the quality of the input
      • dictate = an authoritative rule
      • regulation / ordinance = an authoritative rule
      • canon = a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field of art or philosophy
      • etiquette = rules governing socially acceptable behavior
      • communications protocol / protocol = rules determining the format and transmission of data
    • part of: book / rule book = a collection of rules or prescribed standards on the basis of which decisions are made
  4. (linguistics) a rule describing (or prescribing) a linguistic practice
  5. a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • synonym of rule: principle
    • more generic words: generalisation / generality / generalization = an idea or conclusion having general application
    • more specific terms:
      • pillar = a fundamental principle or practice
      • yang = the bright positive masculine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology
      • yin = the dark negative feminine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology
      • feng shui = rules in Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy
  6. the duration of a monarch's or government's power
    • example: during the rule of Elizabeth
    • lexical domain: Time - nouns denoting time and temporal relations
    • more generic words: continuance / duration = the period of time during which something continues
    • more specific word: regency = the period of time during which a regent governs
    • instance: Regency = the period from 1811-1820 when the Prince of Wales was regent during George III's periods of insanity
  7. dominance or power through legal authority
  8. directions that define the way a game or sport is to be conducted
    • example: he knew the rules of chess
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • more generic words: direction / instruction = a message describing how something is to be done
    • more specific term: ground rule = a special rule (as in baseball) dealing with situations that arise due to the nature of the playing grounds
    • part of: book / rule book = a collection of rules or prescribed standards on the basis of which decisions are made
  9. any one of a systematic body of regulations defining the way of life of members of a religious order
    • example: the rule of St. Dominic
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • more generic words: direction / instruction = a message describing how something is to be done
  10. a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system
  11. (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems
  12. 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

Alternative definition of the noun rule


  1. A regulation, law, guideline.
  2. A ruler; device for measuring, a straightedge, a measure.
  3. Something to keep order.
  4. A straight line [gloss, continuous mark, as made by a pen or the like] especially one lying across a paper as a guide for writing.

Specialised definition of the noun rule

Glossary of sports

regulations norming the course of a sport competition or game (game rules) and the social behaviour of the athlete during the competition, as well as definition of the sanctions applied in case of a violation of these regulations (rule violation). The rules of the different sport disciplines are written down and binding. Referees or judges supervise the compliance with the rules in a competition. These rules are constitutive for a sport discipline; their content relates to elements of the sport such as facilities and equipment (e.g. construction, measurement, and form of sport and play equipment), people (e.g. number of players, mode of substituting players), space (e.g. measurements of the playing field, function of various zones within the playing field), time (e.g. playing time, overtime, time-outs, minimum and maximum duration of an exercise or game), and actions that can be related - again - to equipment (e.g. possibilities for touching the ball in soccer and handball), people (behaviour towards other participants in the competition, e.g. play without physical contact, possibilities for defending against the opponent), space (possibility of certain actions in certain zones of the playing field), time (action possibilities within certain time periods during the game, e.g. the three-second rule in basketball), and the motor sequence itself (e.g. travelling rule in basketball and handball). The constitutive rules can be changed in order to meet new conditions (e.g. improvements in sport equipment construction). The definition and change of rules can only be undertaken by national and international federations of the sport disciplines. In addition to these rules constituting a sport discipline, strategic rules exist as well; they also relate to equipment, people, space, time, and actions, but their violation does not lead to the consequence of sanctions. Strategic rules are not normed in an official set of rules; rather, they relate to what would be sensible to do or to avoid under consideration of the constitutive rules and the idea or goal of a sport discipline (e.g. all tactical measures). Therefore, strategic rules enhance all sport and play creativity. (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

Definition of the verb rule

What does rule mean as a doing word?

Rule is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.View more statistics!

verb - inflections: ruled | ruling | rules

  1. exercise authority over; as of nations
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonym of rule: govern
    • more generic words: command / control = exercise authoritative control or power over
    • more specific words:
  2. decide with authority
  3. be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance
  4. decide on and make a declaration about
  5. have an affinity with; of signs of the zodiac
  6. mark or draw with a ruler
    • example: rule the margins
    • lexical domain: Creation - verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing
    • more generic word: draw = represent by making a drawing of, as with a pencil, chalk, etc. on a surface
  7. keep in check

Alternative definition of the verb rule


  1. [transitive] To regulate, be in charge of, make decisions for, reign over.
  2. [slang, intransitive] To excel.
  3. [transitive] To mark (paper or the like) with rules [gloss, lines].


Rule is a town in Haskell County, Texas, United States. The population was 698 at the 2000 census.


Rule at WinStar Farm, is an American Thoroughbred racehorse by Roman Ruler out of Rockcide whose dam was Belle's Good Cide, also the dam of Funny Cide. He is trained by Todd Pletcher. At the age of two in 2009, he won the Delta Jackpot Stakes and was considered a contender for the 2010 Kentucky Derby but failed to enter.

  • born in (9 years ago)


  1. Rule is a fictional character from the film Gary's Walk.
  2. Rule is a fictional character in the 2011 crime film The Fields.

There are other characters with in their name, like Ann Rule.


  1. "Rule" is the first single from rapper Nas' 2001 album Stillmatic. It features a chorus sung by Amerie and production provided by Poke and Tone of Trackmasters Entertainment. The song is known for both sampling and interpolating "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears. The song's lyrics are political, inspiration and reminiscent of those on Nas' 1996 single "If I Ruled the World.
  2. "Rule" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  3. "RULE" is a musical album of Anna Tsuchiya.
    • released on (5 years ago)
  4. "RULE" is a composition, cataloged instance.
  5. "Rule" is a 2001 single by Nas featuring Amerie.
    • artists: Nas & Amerie
    • released in (15 years ago)
  6. "Rule" is a composition.


"RULE" is a short film, directed by Makoto Kobayashi and written by Makoto Kobayashi & Yasushi Hirano.


  1. Rule: A rule is something that has a left hand side qualifier and a right hand side qualifier. A qualifier is something which is either true or false, and which may or may not have side-effects. It may be that a left-hand side is mostly to decide between true and false and a right-hand side is mostly to have a side-effect.
  2. Rule: DERIVED. The Rule to which this Exception indicates a conflict.

Phrases with Rule

Phrases starting with the word Rule:

  1. Rule 34
  2. Rule 63
  3. rule in
  4. Rule Ok
  5. Rule on
  6. rule out
  7. rule book
  8. Rule Nisi

Phrases ending with the word Rule:

  1. to rule
  2. gag rule
  3. Mob Rule
  4. Area rule
  5. As a Rule
  6. foot rule
  7. home rule
  8. self-rule
  9. Blood rule
  10. board rule
  11. House rule
  12. Mercy rule

View more phrases with the word Rule in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Rule

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewSummulae de Dialectica (2001)

by Jean Buridan, Gyula Klima

The second rule is that no purely syncategorematic term can in itself be a subject or a predicate. (3) The third rule is that no oblique name can in itself be a subject or a predicate. (4) The fourth rule is that no verb can be a subject or a ...

Google previewThe Works Of the Most Reverend John Tillotson, Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: Containing Fifty Four Sermons and Discourses, On Several Occasions. Together with The Rule of Faith. Being All that Were Published by His Grace Himself, And Now Collected Into One Volume (1720)

An Intellestual Rule is the Measure according to which we judge whether a Thing be True or False; and this is either...

Google previewSourcebook in the History of Philosophy of Language (2017)

Primary source texts from the Pre-Socratics to Mill by Margaret Cameron, Benjamin Hill, Robert J. Stainton

The first rule is that in every universal affirmative and universal negative proposition that is neither exclusive nor exceptive, the subject has confused and distributive mobile supposition. This is clear in “Every man runs” and “No man runs.

Google previewThe Quantum Handshake (2015)

Entanglement, Nonlocality and Transactions by John G. Cramer

A: The Born probability rule is the method for extracting a probability from quantum wave functions.

Google previewStamp Duty Land Tax (2006)

by Michael Thomas, David Goy

1 9 FA 2003, the general rule is that the effective date is that of completion. However, this is subject to exceptions, the most important of which is the rule that, where a contract is to be completed by a conveyance and is ' substantially ...

Google previewThe Pacific Reporter (1921)

Stated broadly, the rule is that the third person's conduct must have been the Intentional cause of the loss suffered by the injured spouse. The conduct of the third person need not be the sole cause, but it is sufficient if the third person's conduct ...

Google previewUnited States Supreme Court Reports (1901)

by United States. Supreme Court

The statutory general rule is that every taxpayer is entitled to a fixed deduction of $4000 before taxable income is reached. In the case, however, of a family consisting of husband and wife, or parent and a minor child or children, there is but ...

Google previewHeadquarters Army Civilian Personnel System: HQ ACPERS Data Element Dictionary, December 2000

Codes Usage Cleartext OPM Office, Authority and Date CS Certificate Number WTO CS Rule V. Regulations, Investigations and Enforcement CS Rule 3.2. “Rare Bird” Appointment CS Rule 6.7.

Google previewHistorical Dictionary of Ghana (2014)

by David Owusu-Ansah

As the first state in sub-Sahara Africa to attain independence from European colonial rule, Ghana's freedom served as a political example that leaders of the many liberation movements still under colonial domination wished to emulate.

Google previewKnights Templar Encyclopedia (2007)

The Essential Guide to the People, Places, Events, and Symbols of the Order of the Temple by Karen Ralls

Garnache A sleeveless cloak worn by members of the Order; it is referred to in the Rule. Gaudini, Thibaud The 21st Grand Master of the Order of the Temple, Thibaud Gaudini was from the region of Provence in France and served as Grand ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Rule

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Usage statistics about rule

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the noun rule:

spoken English29.68%written English70.32% conversational speech17.33%task-oriented speech82.67% imaginative writing17.71%informational writing82.29%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun rule:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb rule:


Photos about Rule

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View more pictures about Slide rule and Rule of thirds.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of RULE wood word on compressed board with human's finger at E letterSmall photo of Pareto Principle or law of the vital few. 80/20 rule. factor sparsitySmall photo of Pareto principle or eighty-twenty rule represented on a sticky note against rustic wood - a reminder or adviceSmall photo of Close up of English dictionary page with word ruleSmall photo of yellow folding rule measuring tool isolated on white backgroundSmall photo of Law rule imageSmall photo of Law rule image More...

Videos about Rule

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View more videos about Ja Rule, To Rule, The Rule, As a Rule, Blood rule, Chain rule, Bosman rule, Literal Rule, Rule of three, Rule of thumb, Infield fly rule, and There Is an Exception to Every Rule.

See also the pronunciation examples of Rule!

Sign language

Chain Rule - Sign Language

Quotes about Rule

Rule A: Don't. Rule A1: Rule A doesn't exist. Rule A2: Do not discuss the existence or non-existence of Rules A, A1 or A2. (R.D. Laing)
more quotes about rule...

Scrabble value of R1U1L1E1

The value of this 4-letter word is 4 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of RULE

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

See also the blanagrams of Rule!

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