English dictionary

Info: This web site is based on WordNet 3.0 from Princeton University.

English noun: rule

1. rule (cognition) a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior

SamplesIt was his rule to take a walk before breakfast.
Short haircuts were the regulation.


Broader (hypernym)concept, conception, construct

Narrower (hyponym)cy pres, cy pres doctrine, guideline, guidepost, limitation, restriction, rule of cy pres, rule of thumb, working principle, working rule

2. rule (cognition) something regarded as a normative example

SamplesThe convention of not naming the main character.
Violence is the rule not the exception.
His formula for impressing visitors.

Synonymsconvention, formula, normal, pattern

Broader (hypernym)practice

Narrower (hyponym)code of behavior, code of conduct, mores, universal

3. rule (communication) prescribed guide for conduct or action


Broader (hypernym)direction, instruction

Narrower (hyponym)bylaw, canon, communications protocol, dictate, etiquette, GIGO, golden rule, Miranda rule, order, ordinance, parliamentary law, parliamentary procedure, precept, principle, protocol, regulation, rubric, rule of evidence, rules of order

Part meronymbook, rule book

4. rule (communication) (linguistics) a rule describing (or prescribing) a linguistic practice

Synonymslinguistic rule

Broader (hypernym)concept, conception, construct

Narrower (hyponym)grammatical rule, linguistic universal, morphological rule, rule of grammar, rule of morphology, universal

Domain categorylinguistics

5. rule (cognition) a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct

SamplesTheir principles of composition characterized all their works.


Broader (hypernym)generalisation, generality, generalization

Narrower (hyponym)feng shui, pillar, yang, yin

6. rule (time) the duration of a monarch's or government's power

SamplesDuring the rule of Elizabeth.

Broader (hypernym)continuance, duration

Narrower (hyponym)regency

Instance hyponymRegency

7. rule (state) dominance or power through legal authority

SamplesFrance held undisputed dominion over vast areas of Africa.
The rule of Caesar.


Broader (hypernym)ascendance, ascendancy, ascendence, ascendency, control, dominance

Narrower (hyponym)paramountcy, raj, reign, sovereignty, suzerainty

8. rule (communication) directions that define the way a game or sport is to be conducted

SamplesHe knew the rules of chess.

Broader (hypernym)direction, instruction

Narrower (hyponym)ground rule

Part meronymbook, rule book

9. rule (communication) any one of a systematic body of regulations defining the way of life of members of a religious order

SamplesThe rule of St. Dominic.

Broader (hypernym)direction, instruction

10. rule (cognition) a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system

SamplesThe principle of the conservation of mass.
The principle of jet propulsion.
The right-hand rule for inductive fields.


Broader (hypernym)law, law of nature

Narrower (hyponym)Gestalt law of organization, Gestalt principle of organization, Gresham's Law, Huygens' principle of superposition, law of parsimony, Le Chatelier principle, Le Chatelier's law, Le Chatelier's principle, Le Chatelier-Braun principle, localisation, localisation of function, localisation principle, localization, localization of function, localization principle, mass action, mass-action principle, mass-energy equivalence, Naegele's rule, Occam's Razor, Ockham's Razor, principle of equivalence, principle of liquid displacement, principle of parsimony, principle of superposition, principle of superposition, superposition, superposition principle

11. rule (cognition) (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems

SamplesHe determined the upper bound with Descartes' rule of signs.
He gave us a general formula for attacking polynomials.


Broader (hypernym)procedure, process

Narrower (hyponym)algorithm, algorithmic program, algorithmic rule, heuristic, heuristic program, heuristic rule, metarule, recursion

Domain categorymath, mathematics, maths

12. rule (artifact) 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


Broader (hypernym)measure, measuring rod, measuring stick

Narrower (hyponym)carpenter's rule, foot rule, meterstick, metrestick, yard measure, yardstick

English verb: rule

1. rule (social) exercise authority over; as of nations

SamplesWho is governing the country now?.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)command, control

Narrower (hyponym)dictate, misgovern, reign, throne

2. rule (cognition) decide with authority

SamplesThe King decreed that all firstborn males should be killed.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s that CLAUSE

Broader (hypernym)decide, determine, make up one's mind

Narrower (hyponym)override, overrule, overthrow, overturn, reverse, rule in, rule out

3. rule (stative) be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance

SamplesMoney reigns supreme here.
Hispanics predominate in this neighborhood.

Synonymsdominate, predominate, prevail, reign

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s.
Something is ----ing PP.
Somebody ----s PP

Narrower (hyponym)outbalance, outweigh, overarch, overbalance, override, preponderate

4. rule (communication) decide on and make a declaration about

SamplesFind someone guilty.


Pattern of useSomething ----s something Adjective/Noun.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)judge, label, pronounce

Verb groupfeel, find

5. rule (stative) have an affinity with; of signs of the zodiac

Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)accompany, attach to, come with, go with

6. rule (creation) mark or draw with a ruler

SamplesRule the margins.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)draw

7. rule (change) keep in check

SamplesRule one's temper.

Synonymsharness, rein

Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)bound, confine, limit, restrain, restrict, throttle, trammel

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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