rule of thumb

rule of thumb

Meaning | Synonyms

  • a principle that is kept to
  • a guide that is based on practice rather than theory
  • a general principle that comes through experience and not any scientific means
  • a practical and approximate way

Example Sentences

  1. As a rule of thumb, I do not start a new project on Fridays.
  2. A good rule of thumb is to add the ingredients when the water starts to boil.
  3. During our boot camp in the jungle, we used to drink a glass of water every two hours as a rule of thumb.
  4. Going by the rule of thumb, it would take two hours to compile the data in each of these files.
  5. As a rule of thumb, we never went camping near water bodies during the rains.
  6. A useful rule of thumb in serving food is that two handfuls make a portion.


This phrase has been used since the 1600s and the origin is usually attributed to domestic violence, however, there is no proof of the theory. There was a belief that law in England allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick which was not thicker than his thumb. However, it has been found that such a law did not exist. Also, the phrase has been in use before this law was believed to have existed. The real origin of the phrase, therefore, is not known.


R 3 Thoughts

3 Thoughts

“Rule of Thumb” is a phrase that one abides by as a “go to” theory they may use in their personal practice or of their choosing. If it is a “rule of thumb” perhaps it is a habit they adhere to because it is easy to remember. It may not rely on a specific amount in a recipe. EXAMPLE: “Sara’s ‘rule of thumb’ is to put in ‘two shakes’ of salt (verses an exact measurement) when she makes soup. Megan though, has a rule of thumb that measures 1 1/2 teaspoons for each pint of the soups she makes.

- Mo’ to the Point! June 20, 2020

Rule of the thumb means the most common way of doing things.

- cnjssanmd May 23, 2020

Excellent work what you done.

- Anonymous January 26, 2018

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Idiom of the Day

the last thing I want

Meaning: I don't want

Example: The report showed up all the flaws in the project, and that was the last thing I wanted! Read on


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