1: a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior; "it was his rule to take a walk before breakfast"; "short haircuts were the regulation" [syn: regulation]
2: something regarded as a normative example; "the convention of not naming the main character"; "violence is the rule not the exception"; "his formula for impressing visitors" [syn: convention, normal, pattern, formula]
3: prescribed guide for conduct or action [syn: prescript]
4: (linguistics) a rule describing (or prescribing) a linguistic practice [syn: linguistic rule]
5: a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; "their principles of composition characterized all their works" [syn: principle]
6: a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system; "the principle of the conservation of mass"; "the principle of jet propulsion"; "the right-hand rule for inductive fields" [syn: principle]
7: the duration of a monarch's or government's power; "during the rule of Elizabeth"
8: dominance or power through legal authority; "France held undisputed dominion over vast areas of Africa"; "the rule of Caesar" [syn: dominion]
9: directions that define the way a game or sport is to be conducted; "he knew the rules of chess"
10: any one of a systematic body of regulations defining the way of life of members of a religious order; "the rule of St. Dominic"
11: (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems; "he determined the upper bound with Descartes' rule of signs"; "he gave us a general formula for attacking polynomials" [syn: formula]
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 [syn: ruler]
1: exercise authority over; as of nations; "Who is governing the country now?" [syn: govern]
2: decide with authority; "The King decreed that all first-born males should be killed" [syn: decree]
3: be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance; "Money reigns supreme here"; "Hispanics predominate in this neighborhood" [syn: predominate, dominate, reign, prevail]
4: decide on and make a declaration about; "find someone guilty" [syn: find]
5: have an affinity with; of signs of the zodiac
6: mark or draw with a ruler; "rule the margins"
7: keep in check; "rule one's temper" [syn: harness, rein]
Adjacent words: ruin | ruination | ruined | ruiner | ruining | ruinous | ruinously | rule | rule book | rule in | rule of cy pres | rule of evidence | rule of grammar | rule of law | rule of morphology | rule of thumb