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  Dictionary Definition of rule

rule
noun, verb, ruled, ruling.

-- noun
1. a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, arrangement, etc.
2. the code of regulations observed by a religious order or congregation.
3. that which customarily or normally occurs or holds good: the rule rather than the exception.
4. control, government, or dominion.
5. tenure or conduct of reign or office.
6. a prescribed mathematical method for performing a calculation or solving a problem.
7. ruler (def. 2).
8. Printing a. a thin, type-high strip of metal, usually brass, for printing a line or lines. b. (in photocomposition) a black tape in various widths and designs. c. a printed line.
9. Law a. a formal order or direction made by a court and limited in application to the case for which it is given ( special rule ). b. an order or regulation governing the procedure of a court ( general rule ). c. a proposition of law.
10. ( plural ) Brit. (formerly) a. a fixed area in the neighbourhood of certain prisons, within which certain prisoners were allowed to live on giving security. b. the freedom of such an area.
-- verb (t)
11. to control or direct; exercise dominating power or influence over.
12. to exercise authority or dominion over; govern.
13. to decide or declare judicially or authoritatively; decree.
14. to mark with lines, especially parallel straight lines, with the aid of a ruler or the like.
15. to mark out or form (a line) by this method.
-- verb (i)
16. to exercise dominating power or influence.
17. to exercise authority, dominion, or sovereignty.
18. to make a formal decision or ruling, as on a point at law.
19. to prevail or be current, as prices.
20. Colloquial to be the best; be in command: the Blues rule!
-- phrase
21. as a rule, usually.
22. bend the rules, Colloquial to make an exception to the rules.
23. rule off, to mark the end (of something written) by ruling a line beneath.
24. rule out, to exclude, refuse to admit, declare (something) out of the question.
[ME, from OF riule, from L regula straight stick, pattern]