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[gahyd-lahyn] /ˈgaɪdˌlaɪn/
any guide or indication of a future course of action:
guidelines on the government's future policy.
a lightly marked line used as a guide, as in composing a drawing, a typed page, or a line of lettering.
a rope or cord that serves to guide one's steps, especially over rocky terrain, through underground passages, etc.
a rope or wire used in guiding the movement of stage scenery or curtains being raised or lowered.
Origin of guideline
1775-85, Americanism; guide + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for guideline
  • Using the resource web template as a guideline, ask each of the groups to develop their own resource web on the paper.
  • They'll have a guideline to the nitty-gritty of how climate science gets done and the methods they'll need to get the results.
  • Your warm and helpful guideline implies a whole lot to me and even further to my office colleagues.
  • It could well be that he preformed a groove into the foam so as to obtain an accurate guideline.
  • Except, they were given a budget guideline and timeline that became unreasonable when no money was given.
  • Use this basic list as a guideline to consider and rank features.
  • The government thinks that that guideline is inappropriate.
  • Most of us are familiar with the food pyramid, the government's guideline for healthful eating.
  • Secondly, even if there is a budget, the budget is only a guideline of revenues and expenses.
  • Screening for skin cancer: a clinical practice guideline.
British Dictionary definitions for guideline


a principle put forward to set standards or determine a course of action
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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Word Origin and History for guideline

1785, "line marked on a surface before cutting," from guide + line (n.). Meaning "rope for steering a hot-air balloon" is from 1846. In figurative use by 1948. Related: Guidelines.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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