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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



rule n

1 a : a prescribed guide for conduct or action
b : a regulating principle or precept
2 a : an order or directive issued by a court in a particular proceeding esp. upon petition of a party to the proceeding that commands an officer or party to perform an act or show cause why an act should not be performed [a directing the district court to show cause why its ruling should not be vacated "People v. District Court, 797 P.2d 1259 (1990)"]
b : a usually judicially promulgated regulation having the force of law that governs judicial practice or procedure [s of evidence] [s of appellate procedure] see also rule of court
c : rule of law
3 : all or part of a statement (as a regulation) by an administrative agency that has general or particular applicability and future effect and that is designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or that describes the organization, procedure, or practice of the agency itself [a subject to statutory notice and comment requirements for informal rulemaking]
4 a : a regulation or bylaw governing procedure or conduct in a body, organization, institution, or proceeding
b : a resolution of a legislative rules committee setting forth the terms for consideration of a particular bill by the entire body
5 : the exercise of authority or control [majority ] see also home rule, rule of law
vb ruled
1 : to exercise authority or power over
2 : to determine and declare authoritatively
: to command or determine judicially [ruled the evidence inadmissible]
1 : to exercise supreme authority
2 : to lay down a rule or ruling [ruled in favor of the plaintiff]

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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