The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information

3 definitions found
 for Rule of thumb
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Rule \Rule\, n. [OE. reule, riule, OF. riule, reule, F.
     r['e]gle, fr. L. regula a ruler, rule, model, fr. regere,
     rectum, to lead straight, to direct. See Right, a., and cf.
     1. That which is prescribed or laid down as a guide for
        conduct or action; a governing direction for a specific
        purpose; an authoritative enactment; a regulation; a
        prescription; a precept; as, the rules of various
        societies; the rules governing a school; a rule of
        etiquette or propriety; the rules of cricket.
        [1913 Webster]
              We profess to have embraced a religion which
              contains the most exact rules for the government of
              our lives.                            --Tillotson.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Hence:
        (a) Uniform or established course of things.
            [1913 Webster]
                  'T is against the rule of nature. --Shak.
            [1913 Webster]
        (b) Systematic method or practice; as, my ule is to rise
            at six o'clock.
        (c) Ordibary course of procedure; usual way; comon state
            or condition of things; as, it is a rule to which
            there are many exeptions.
        (d) Conduct in general; behavior. [Obs.]
            [1913 Webster]
                  This uncivil rule; she shall know of it. --Shak.
            [1913 Webster]
     3. The act of ruling; administration of law; government;
        empire; authority; control.
        [1913 Webster]
              Obey them that have the rule over you. --Heb. xiii.
        [1913 Webster]
              His stern rule the groaning land obeyed. --Pope.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. (Law) An order regulating the practice of the courts, or
        an order made between parties to an action or a suit.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. (Math.) A determinate method prescribed for performing any
        operation and producing a certain result; as, a rule for
        extracting the cube root.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. (Gram.) A general principle concerning the formation or
        use of words, or a concise statement thereof; thus, it is
        a rule in England, that s or es, added to a noun in the
        singular number, forms the plural of that noun; but "man"
        forms its plural "men", and is an exception to the rule.
        [1913 Webster]
        (a) A straight strip of wood, metal, or the like, which
            serves as a guide in drawing a straight line; a ruler.
        (b) A measuring instrument consisting of a graduated bar
            of wood, ivory, metal, or the like, which is usually
            marked so as to show inches and fractions of an inch,
            and jointed so that it may be folded compactly.
            [1913 Webster]
                  A judicious artist will use his eye, but he will
                  trust only to his rule.           --South.
            [1913 Webster]
     8. (Print.)
        (a) A thin plate of metal (usually brass) of the same
            height as the type, and used for printing lines, as
            between columns on the same page, or in tabular work.
        (b) A composing rule. See under Conposing.
            [1913 Webster]
     As a rule, as a general thing; in the main; usually; as, he
        behaves well, as a rule.
     Board rule, Caliber rule, etc. See under Board,
        Caliber, etc.
     Rule joint, a knuckle joint having shoulders that abut when
        the connected pieces come in line with each other, and
        thus permit folding in one direction only.
     Rule of the road (Law), any of the various regulations
        imposed upon travelers by land or water for their mutual
        convenience or safety. In the United States it is a rule
        of the road that land travelers passing in opposite
        directions shall turn out each to his own right, and
        generally that overtaking persons or vehicles shall turn
        out to the left; in England the rule for vehicles (but not
        for pedestrians) is the opposite of this.
     Rule of three (Arith.), that rule which directs, when three
        terms are given, how to find a fourth, which shall have
        the same ratio to the third term as the second has to the
        first; proportion. See Proportion, 5
        (b) .
     Rule of thumb, any rude process or operation, like that of
        using the thumb as a rule in measuring; hence, judgment
        and practical experience as distinguished from scientific
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  rule of thumb
      n 1: a rule or principle that provides guidance to appropriate
           behavior [syn: guidepost, guideline, rule of thumb]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  22 Moby Thesaurus words for "rule of thumb":
     R and D, control, control experiment, controlled experiment,
     cut and try, empiricism, experiment, experimental design,
     experimental method, experimental proof, experimentalism,
     experimentation, hit and miss, noble experiment, pragmatism,
     research and development, tentative method, tentativeness, testing,
     trial, trial and error, trying

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229