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1) To decide a legal question, as when at the end of a lawsuit a court announces: "This court rules that the plaintiff is entitled to the goods and damages for delay in the sum of $10,000." 2) A regulation issued by a court or government agency. 3) A legal principle set by a court's written decision in an appellate case, as "the rule in the case of Murray v. Crampton is...." (See also: rules of court, local rules)