as a rule

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a. Governing power or its possession or use; authority.
b. The duration of such power.
a. An authoritative, prescribed direction for conduct, especially one of the regulations governing procedure in a legislative body or a regulation observed by the players in a game, sport, or contest.
b. The body of regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for governing the conduct of its members.
3. A usual, customary, or generalized course of action or behavior: "The rule of life in the defense bar ordinarily is to go along and get along" (Scott Turow).
4. A generalized statement that describes what is true in most or all cases: In this office, hard work is the rule, not the exception.
5. Mathematics A standard method or procedure for solving a class of problems.
6. Law
a. A court decision serving as a precedent for subsequent cases: the Miranda rule.
b. A legal doctrine or principle.
c. A court order.
d. A minor regulation or law.
e. A statute or regulation governing the court process: rule of procedure; rule of evidence.
7. See ruler.
8. Printing A thin metal strip of various widths and designs, used to print borders or lines, as between columns.
v. ruled, rul·ing, rules
1. To exercise control, dominion, or direction over; govern: rule a kingdom.
a. To have a powerful influence over; dominate: "Many found the lanky westerner naive, and supposed that he would be ruled by one of his more commanding cabinet officers" (William Marvel).
b. To be a preeminent or dominant factor in: "It was a place where ... middle-class life was ruled by a hankering for all things foreign" (Amitav Ghosh).
3. To decide or declare authoritatively or judicially; decree: The judges ruled that the answer was acceptable. The police ruled the death a homicide. The law was ruled unconstitutional. See Synonyms at decide.
a. To mark with straight parallel lines.
b. To mark (a straight line), as with a ruler.
1. To be in total control or command; exercise supreme authority.
2. To formulate and issue a decree or decision.
3. To prevail at a particular level or rate: Prices ruled low.
4. Slang To be excellent or superior: That new video game rules!
Phrasal Verb:
rule out
1. To prevent; preclude: The snowstorm ruled out their weekly meeting.
2. To remove from consideration; exclude: The option of starting over has been ruled out.
as a rule
In general; for the most part: As a rule, we take the bus.

[Middle English reule, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *regula, from Latin rēgula, rod, principle; see reg- in Indo-European roots.]

rul′a·ble adj.
venjulega, yfirleitt


(ruːl) noun
1. government. under foreign rule.
2. a regulation or order. school rules.
3. what usually happens or is done; a general principle. He is an exception to the rule that fat people are usually happy.
4. a general standard that guides one's actions. I make it a rule never to be late for appointments.
5. a marked strip of wood, metal etc for measuring. He measured the windows with a rule.
1. to govern. The king ruled (the people) wisely.
2. to decide officially. The judge ruled that the witness should be heard.
3. to draw (a straight line). He ruled a line across the page.
ruled adjective
having straight lines drawn across. ruled paper.
ˈruler noun
1. a person who governs. the ruler of the state.
2. a long narrow piece of wood, plastic etc for drawing straight lines. I can't draw straight lines without a ruler.
ˈruling adjective
governing. the ruling party.
an official decision. The judge gave his ruling.
as a rule
usually. I don't go out in the evening as a rule.
rule off
to draw a line in order to separate. He ruled off the rest of the page.
rule out
to leave out; not to consider. We mustn't rule out the possibility of bad weather.
References in classic literature ?
For this our determination we do not hold ourselves strictly bound to assign any reason; it being abundantly sufficient that we have laid it down as a rule necessary to be observed in all prosai-comi-epic writing.
And, as a rule, for the purpose intended, numbers, in the view of simplicity and certainty, are entitled to a preference.