But the Lacedæmonians make it a rule never to speak of danger from their slaves.

"There was one rule in poker your pa had," said Uncle Peter.

The effort to make them "disgorge" is as continual as it is noisy, and, as a rule, futile.

In a republic the first rule for the guidance of the citizen is obedience to law.

But I told him, I would judge him by his own rule—by his actions, not by his professions.

This hope—this supreme aspiration—must rule the way we live.

It decrees that we, the people, elect leaders not to rule but to serve.

But as we are such near neighbors I felt that I must break my rule.

But he was told, that he must not expect to rule in every thing.

Also, as a rule, he was weak enough to accept a gift when the stranger parted.


c.1200, "principle or maxim governing conduct, formula to which conduct must be conformed" from Old French riule, Norman reule "rule, custom, (religious) order" (in Modern French partially re-Latinized as règle), from Vulgar Latin *regula, from Latin regula "straight stick, bar, ruler;" figuratively "a pattern, a model," related to regere "to rule, straighten, guide" (see regal). Replaced Old English wealdan.

Meaning "regulation governing play of a game, etc." is from 1690s. Phrase rule of thumb first attested 1690s. Rule of law "supremacy of impartial and well-defined laws to any individual's power" is from 1883. Meaning "strip used for making straight lines or measuring" is recorded from mid-14c. Typography sense is attested from 1680s.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.