rule of the road

noun Nautical.
any of the regulations concerning the safe handling of vessels under way with respect to one another, imposed by a government on ships in its own waters or upon its own ships on the high seas.

Origin:
1870–75

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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We talk things over and the rule of the road is that writers don't set out on stories they have no interest in.
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