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.

1775–85, Americanism; guide + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
guideline (ˈɡaɪdˌlaɪn)
a principle put forward to set standards or determine a course of action

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
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.
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