English

Definition of rule verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    rule

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ruːl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ruːl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they rule
    BrE BrE//ruːl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ruːl//
     
    he / she / it rules
    BrE BrE//ruːlz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ruːlz//
     
    past simple ruled
    BrE BrE//ruːld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ruːld//
     
    past participle ruled
    BrE BrE//ruːld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ruːld//
     
    -ing form ruling
    BrE BrE//ˈruːlɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈruːlɪŋ//
     
     
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    govern/control
  1. 1  [transitive, intransitive] to control and have authority over a country, a group of people, etc. rule something At that time John ruled England. The family ruled London's gangland in the sixties. (figurative) Eighty million years ago, dinosaurs ruled the earth. rule (over somebody/something) Charles I ruled for eleven years. She once ruled over a vast empire. (figurative) After the revolution, anarchy ruled.
  2. 2  [transitive, often passive] rule something (often disapproving) to be the main thing that influences and controls somebody/something The pursuit of money ruled his life. We live in a society where we are ruled by the clock.
  3. give official decision
  4. 3[intransitive, transitive] to give an official decision about something synonym pronounce rule (on something) The court will rule on the legality of the action. rule against/in favour of somebody/something The judge ruled against/in favour of the plaintiff. rule somebody/something + adj. The defendant was ruled not guilty. The deal may be ruled illegal. rule somebody/something to be/have something The deal was ruled to be illegal. rule that… The court ruled that the women were unfairly dismissed. it is ruled that… It was ruled that the women had been unfairly dismissed.
  5. draw straight line
  6. 4[transitive] rule something to draw a straight line using something that has a firm straight edge Rule a line at the end of every piece of work.
  7. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French reule (noun), reuler (verb), from late Latin regulare, from Latin regula ‘straight stick’.Extra examples He left his son to rule over Saragossa. Infringement of this regulation would automatically rule you out of the championship. Police have now ruled her out as the killer. This theory cannot be ruled out altogether. We cannot rule out the possibility of a recession. the president’s powers to rule by decree Have they become a ruling elite or even a new ruling class? He was a leading figure in the ruling military junta. Her whole life seemed to be ruled by fear. The country was ruled by a brutal dictatorship. The court ruled that the women had been unfairly dismissed. The family ruled London’s gangland in the sixties. The high court will rule on the legality of the action. The judge ruled in favour of the plaintiff. The party announced it had pulled out of the ruling coalition.Idioms to keep control over people by making them disagree with and fight each other, therefore not giving them the chance to unite and oppose you together a policy of divide and rule
    let your heart rule your head
     
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    to act according to what you feel rather than to what you think is sensible
    rule/throw something out of court
     
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    to say that something is completely wrong or not worth considering, especially in a trial The charges were thrown out of court. Well that's my theory ruled out of court.
    (informal) to be the most powerful member of a group Liverpool ruled the roost in English football for a decade.
    rule (somebody/something) with a rod of iron
     
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    to control a person or a group of people very severely
    Phrasal Verbsrule offrule out somebodyrule somebody out of something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: rule