From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishrulerule1 /ruːl/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 about what is allowed [countable]RULE/REGULATION an official instruction that says how things must be done or what is allowed, especially in a game, organization, or jobrule of the rules of the gameunder the rules/according to the rules Under the rules, the company must publish its annual accounts.2 about what you should do [countable] what you should do in a particular situation, or a statement about this There are no hard and fast rules (=clear and definite rules) about what to wear to classes.rule of There are two basic rules of survival. The rule is: if you feel any pain you should stop exercising immediately.3 normal/usual [singular] something that is normal or usually trueas a (general) rule As a general rule most students finish their coursework by the end of May. Early marriage used to be the rule in that part of the world. A series of payments used to be the exception rather than the rule. Unfortunately there is an exception to every rule.4 government [uncountable]GOVERENMENT the government of a country or area by a particular group of people or using a particular systemunder ... rule people living under communist rule the end of colonial rule a period of military rule direct rule from Westminster the restoration of majority rule (=government by the party that most people have voted for) to Northern Ireland5 in grammar/science etc [countable]SLG a statement about what is usually allowed in a particular system, such as the grammar of a language, or a sciencerule of the rules of English punctuation6 → the rule of law7 → the rules of natural justice8 → rule of thumb9 → make it a rule (to do something)10 for measuring [countable] old-fashionedTMDHH a ruler → golden rule, ground rules, home rule, slide rule, → work to rule at work1(32)COLLOCATIONSverbsbreak a rule (also violate a rule formal) (=not obey it)He had clearly broken the official rules.Any one who violates this rule will be severely punished.obey/follow a ruleShe wasn’t going to obey their silly rules.comply with/abide by/observe a rule formal (=obey it)All members must comply with the rules of the organization.There is little that one country can do if another fails to abide by the rules.We expect you to observe the general rules of conduct as set out below.stick to/go by the rules informal (=obey them)We all have to stick to the rules.make the rulesI’m only an assistant manager – I don’t make the rules.the rule says ...The rule says that you must be standing inside the line.the rule stipulates that ... formal (=it says that something must be done)The rules stipulate that clubs must field the strongest team available. the rule prohibits/forbids somethingThe rule forbids women from becoming members of the club.the rule requires (that) ... formal (=it says that people must do something)School rules required all girls to tie back their hair.the rule applies to somebody/something (=it concerns them)Everyone thinks that the rule doesn’t apply to them.play by the rules (=do what is expected and agreed)The system works well enough — as long as everyone plays by the rules.bend/stretch the rules (=allow someone to do something that is not normally allowed)They bend the rules to suit themselves.relax the rules (=make them less strict)Britain relaxed its immigration rules.tighten (up) the rules (=make them stricter)The EU has tightened the rules on the quality of drinking water.enforce a rule (=make sure that it is obeyed)The planning office does not always enforce its own rules.flout a rule (=break it, without trying to hide what you are doing)The party continues to flout its own rules.be bound by rules (=have to obey them)Solicitors are bound by strict rules that regulate their professional conduct.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + rulestrictThey have very strict rules about gambling.simpleThe rules of the game are quite simple.petty (=unreasonable rules about unimportant things)There are hundreds of petty rules.a school/prison/club etc ruleHe had broken one of the school rules.an unwritten rule (=a rule of behaviour that everyone in a group understands)There’s an unwritten rule that you never call an actor before 10 a.m. health and safety rulesYou should follow any health and safety rules which apply to your workplace.phrasesbe against the rules (=not be allowed)It was against the rules to talk in class.the rules concerning/governing/relating to something formal (=the rules about something)the rules governing food labelinga change in the rulesI didn’t realise that there had been a change in the rules.a breach of the rules formal (=something that is against the rules)a serious breach of the rulesrules and regulationsThe government keeps introducing more and more rules and regulations.rules are rules spoken (=a rule must be obeyed)Rules are rules and you have to abide by them.THESAURUSrule an instruction that says what people are allowed to do or not allowed to do, for example in a game, school, or companythe rules of baseballHe disobeyed the school rules.law an official rule that everyone in a country, city, or state must obeyIt is against the law to carry a concealed weapon.The law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets.regulation an official rule or order, which is part of a set of rules made by a government or organizationthe regulations for applying for a passportbuilding regulationsenvironmental regulations on air pollutionrestriction an official rule that limits what people can donew restrictions on immigrationThe government is planning to impose regulations on the amount of alcohol you can bring into the country.guidelines rules or instructions about the best way to do somethingthe Department of Health’s guidelines for a healthy dietguidelines for classroom teacherscode a set of rules that people or organizations agree to obey but are not forced to obeyThe school has a dress code for its students.the company’s code of conductstatute formal a law that has been officially approved by a parliament, council etc, and written downThe statute banned corporal punishment.ordinance American English a law, made by a city or town, that forbids or restricts an activityA local ordinance limited speed in the parks to ten miles an hour.
Examples from the Corpusrule• So break any rules you please.• The resultant grammar contained 3527 basic rules which were converted and extended to a set of 200,000 rules.• British rule in India came to an end in 1947.• Clear rules, fairly and consistently applied, are fundamental to all forms of punishment.• Late in 1991, Communist rule ended in Russia.• No one's allowed to ride with the driver. That's a company rule.• Legal advice must be taken to ascertain the exact rules and how they are applied.• These are just guidelines, not hard and fast rules.• For many years Algeria was under French rule.• In the next section we will also discuss the loss of a morphological rule that created causative verbs from adjectives.• In general, two kinds of rule will be considered - first, rules of interpretation and second, prescriptive rules.• It is strictly against the rules for athletes to take drugs.• What are the rules of the game?• I have no sympathy for Jonson. He broke the rules and got caught, that's all.• There have been some changes in the rules governing the use of safety equipment.• It says in the rules that every child has to wear school uniform.• Sparky is a manufacturer within the rule and Pyro and Nancy are consumers.• the rules of etiquette• The rules of grammar in French are very complex.• We can, however, instantly recognize the actual instances where rules are broken.The rule is• The words for his own purposes will be discussed later. The rule is not confined to the case of adjacent freeholders.exception ... rule• There are exceptions to the rules of party apprenticeship and nepotism.• There are two particular exceptions to this rule, i.e. where the signer will not be bound by his signature.• Humanity is a startling exception to this rule.• Over the years, however, such dramatic action proved to be the exception rather than the rule.• His route is the exception to the rule nowadays.• The two exceptions prove the rule.majority rule• Many reject democracy in terms of party competition, majority rule and the rule of law.• In these weeks, I have had the chance to listen to Joshua Nkomo calling for majority rule now.• Is majority rule under a system of parliamentary democracy a sufficient guarantee of legitimacy?• In the case of spending and tax legislation, majority rule is thus further weakened.• Two working conclusions follow from this, namely, toleration and the qualification of majority rule.• Those who peopled them have either been driven out in a bloody liberation war or yielded their political supremacy to majority rule.• South Africa has made a somewhat peaceful transition to majority rule.• While majority rules in Fed decisions, the chairman carries a lot of weight.