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From Middle English reule, rewle, rule, borrowed from Old French riule, reule, itself an early semi-learned borrowing from Latin regula (“straight stick, bar, ruler, pattern”), from regere (“to keep straight, direct, govern, rule”); see regent.
rule (countable and uncountable, plural rules)
- A regulation, law, guideline.
- A ruler; device for measuring, a straightedge, a measure.
- A straight line (continuous mark, as made by a pen or the like), especially one lying across a paper as a guide for writing.
- A regulating principle.
- The act of ruling; administration of law; government; empire; authority; control.
- A normal condition or state of affairs.
- (obsolete) Conduct; behaviour.
- (law) An order regulating the practice of the courts, or an order made between parties to an action or a suit.
- (mathematics) A determinate method prescribed for performing any operation and producing a certain result.
- (printing, dated) A thin plate of brass or other metal, of the same height as the type, and used for printing lines, as between columns on the same page, or in tabular work.
- (transitive) To regulate, be in charge of, make decisions for, reign over.
- (slang, intransitive) To excel.
- (transitive) To mark (paper or the like) with rules (lines).
- (intransitive) To decide judicially.
- (transitive) To establish or settle by, or as by, a rule; to fix by universal or general consent, or by common practice.