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English definition of “rule”

rule

noun uk   /ruːl/ us  

rule noun (INSTRUCTION)

B1 [C usually plural] an accepted principle or instruction that states the way things are or should be done, and tells you what you are allowed or are not allowed to do: A referee must know all the rules of the game. The first/most important rule in life is always to appear confident. Before you start your own business you should be familiar with the government's rules and regulations. You must follow/obey/observe the rules. You must not break the rules. In special cases the manager will bend/stretch the rules (= allow the rules to be broken). You can trust Ruth because she always plays (it) by/goes by/does things by the rules (= follows instructions, standards, or rules). [+ to infinitive] It's against the rules (of/in boxing) to hit below the belt. [+ that] It's a club rule that new members must sing a song.

rule noun (CONTROL)

C2 [U] a period of time during which a particular person or group is in control of a country: The period of Fascist rule is one people try to forget. We don't want one-party rule - we want rule by the people.
See also

rule

verb uk   /ruːl/ us  

rule verb (CONTROL)

B2 [I or T] to control or be the person in charge of something such as a country: Most modern kings and queens rule (their countries) only in a formal way, without real power. She rules her household with an iron hand/fist (= severely). B2 [I or T] to be the most important and controlling influence on someone: Love ruled supreme in her heart. The desperate desire to go to Moscow ruled their lives.

rule verb (DECIDE)

[I or T] to decide officially: Only the Appeal Court can rule on this point. The judge ruled for/in favour of/against the defendant. [+ that] The government has ruled that the refugees must be deported. [+ obj + noun/adj ] The courts have ruled his brave action illegal.
See also

rule verb (DRAW)

[T] to draw a straight line using something that has a straight edge: She ruled two red lines under the title.
(Definition of rule from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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