Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

rule

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun rule pronunciation in American English /rul/ 
Word Forms
Close
singularrule
pluralrules
  1. 1
    [countable] a statement explaining what someone can or cannot do in a particular system, game, or situation

    We need to change the club rules before we start looking for new members.

    rule of:

    the basic rules of the game

    break a rule (=not obey a rule):

    Anyone who breaks the rules will face disciplinary action.

    follow/obey a rule:

    You should always follow these simple rules when using electrical equipment.

    against the rules:

    You can't do that, it's against the rules!

    rules and regulations:

    They complain that businesses are being hampered by too many rules and regulations.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] the person, country, political or religious group, etc. that officially controls or governs a place

    British rule over Hong Kong ended in 1997.

    under someone's rule:

    He admitted there were killings under his rule but said reports were exaggerated.

    a period of military rule

phrases

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog