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ground rule

Usually, ground rules. basic or governing principles of conduct in any situation or field of endeavor:
the ground rules of press conferences.
Sports. any of certain rules specially adopted, as in baseball and softball, for dealing with situations or circumstances arising chiefly from the particular nature of the playing area or the interference of spectators.
Origin of ground rule
1885-90, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ground rules
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Historical Examples
  • Some interesting items are to be found among the ground rules.

    The Happy Golfer Henry Leach
  • He learned nothing of Grammar; nor did he get at school so much knowledge of common Arithmetic as the Four ground rules.

    John Brown, Soldier of Fortune Hill Peebles Wilson
  • On a clear field it would have been an easy home run, but in accordance with the ground rules it only counted for a two bagger.

    Baseball Joe on the Giants Lester Chadwick
  • While he would have girls know the four ground rules of arithmetic, that is about all they should have except domestic training.

    History of Education Levi Seeley
  • The terms sum, remainder, product, and quotient are frequently applied indiscriminately in the four ground rules of arithmetic.

    Popular Education Ira Mayhew
British Dictionary definitions for ground rules

ground rule

a procedural rule or principle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with ground rules

ground rules

Basic procedures of conduct, as in The press secretary sets the ground rules for all of the President's press conferences. The term comes from baseball, where it refers to specific rules for a particular ballpark, which are based on special conditions such as a very high outfield fence or a field obstruction of some kind. It began to be transferred to more general use in the mid-1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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