Meaning of rule

rule

Pronunciation: (rl), [key]
— n., v., ruled, rul•ing.
—n.
  1. a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, arrangement, etc.: the rules of chess.
  2. the code of regulations observed by a religious order or congregation: the Franciscan rule.
  3. the customary or normal circumstance, occurrence, manner, practice, quality, etc.: the rule rather than the exception.
  4. control, government, or dominion: under the rule of a dictator.
  5. tenure or conduct of reign or office: during the rule of George III.
  6. a prescribed mathematical method for performing a calculation or solving a problem.
  7. ruler (def. 2).
  8. (cap.)the constellation Norma.
  9. a thin, type-high strip of metal, for printing a solid or decorative line or lines.
    1. a formal order or direction made by a court, as for governing the procedure of the court(general rule)or for sending the case before a referee(special rule).
    2. a legal principle.
    3. a court order in a particular case.
  10. (formerly)
    1. a fixed area in the neighborhood of certain prisons within which certain prisoners were allowed to live.
    2. the freedom of such an area.
  11. behavior.
  12. generally; usually: He arrives at eleven o'clock, as a rule.
—v.t.
  1. to control or direct; exercise dominating power, authority, or influence over; govern: to rule the empire with severity.
  2. to decide or declare judicially or authoritatively; decree: The judge ruled that he should be exiled.
  3. to mark with lines, esp. parallel straight lines, with the aid of a ruler or the like: to rule paper.
  4. to mark out or form (a line) by this method: to rule lines on paper.
  5. to be superior or preeminent in (a specific field or group); dominate by superiority; hold sway over: For centuries, England ruled the seas.
—v.i.
  1. to exercise dominating power or influence; predominate.
  2. to exercise authority, dominion, or sovereignty.
  3. to make a formal decision or ruling, as on a point at law.
  4. to be prevalent or current: Higher prices ruled throughout France.
  5. to rule out the possibility of error.
    1. to prove to be unrelated or not for consideration; eliminate; exclude:to rule out the possibility of error.
    2. to make impossible or impracticable:The rainstorm ruled out the holiday camping.
  6. See(def. 4).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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