1 rule /ˈruːl/ noun
plural rules
1 rule
plural rules
Learner's definition of RULE
: a statement that tells you what is or is not allowed in a particular game, situation, etc.
see also gag rule, ground rule
Synonyms see: law
: a statement that tells you what is allowed or what will happen within a particular system (such as a language or science)
[count] : a piece of advice about the best way to do something
[singular] : the way something usually is done or happens
[noncount] : the control and power that a particular person, group, or government has over a country or area
see also home rule, majority rule
[count] old-fashioned : a stick used for measuring things : ruler see also slide rule

by the rules

: in the way that is most common, expected, and acceptable

rule of law

: a situation in which the laws of a country are obeyed by everyone

rule of thumb

: a method of doing something that is based on experience and common sense rather than exact calculation
: a principle that is believed and followed and that is based on the way something usually happens or is done
2 rule /ˈruːl/ verb
rules; ruled; ruling
2 rule
rules; ruled; ruling
Learner's definition of RULE
: to have control and power over a country, area, group, etc.
[no object]
sometimes used figuratively
[+ object]
sometimes used figuratively
[+ object] : to have great influence over (someone)
: to make a legal decision about something
[no object]
[+ object]
not used in progressive tenses, [no object] slang : to be very good or popular used to express strong admiration for someone or something

divide and rule

see 1divide

rule out

[phrasal verb]
rule (someone or something) out or rule out (someone or something) : to no longer consider (someone or something) as a possibility after careful thought or study
rule (something) out or rule out (something) : to make (something) impossible : to prevent (something) from happening
rule (someone) out : to remove (someone) from a competition, contest, etc.

rule the roost

see 1roost

rule with an iron fist/hand

(chiefly US) or British rule with a rod of iron
: to rule a country, area, group, etc., in a very strict and often cruel way