General English

  • noun a statement of the right things to do or the right way to behave
  • verb to govern or to control

General Science


  • noun a statement that directs how people should behave
  • verb to give an official decision
  • verb to be in force or to be current


  • noun a standard and authoritative instruction or guide
  • noun an instrument for determining length


  • noun a set of conditions that describe a function
  • noun in printing, a thin line


  • A straightedge with graduations used for measuring, laying out lengths, or drawing straight lines.
  • A straightedge for working plaster to a plane surface.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a regulation telling what is and is not allowed


  • noun a general order of conduct which says how things should be done
  • noun a special decision made by the Rules committee which states how a particular bill should be treated in the house of Representatives
  • noun the way in which a country is governed
  • noun a decision made by a court

Media Studies

  • noun a thin printed line or design used for borders or for separating columns of type


  • noun a statement or order which says how things should be done, e.g. an order governing how members vote in parliament or Congress


  • verb to make a straight line or mark something with straight lines

Origin & History of “rule”

Rule is one of a largish family of English words that go back ultimately to Latin rēgula ‘straight stick, ruler, rule, pattern’ (whose close relatives rēx ‘king’ and regere ‘rule’ have also contributed royally to English vocabulary in the form of rector, regent, regiment, royal, etc). Derivatives have produced regular and regulate, while rēgula itself has given rail ‘bar’ and, via vulgar Latin *regula and Old French reule, rule.