bend the rules

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bend the rules

To allow something to be done which is technically against the rules or not normally accepted. It's galling to know that the management team, who are so strict with the lower-level employees, all bend the rules to give themselves more vacation time and bigger bonuses. You're normally not allowed to take an exam if you arrive late, but because of the student's excuse, his teacher bent the rules for him.
See also: bend, rule

bend the rules

COMMON If you bend the rules, you do something which is not allowed, either to help someone else or for your own advantage. The river authorities said they were willing to bend the rules for us and allowed us to go ahead. The rules are often bent to ensure a good show. Note: You can also say that you stretch the rules. He accused the company of stretching the sport's rules to the limit.
See also: bend, rule

bend/stretch the ˈrules

allow somebody to break the rules to some extent because you think there is a good reason: We don’t normally employ people over 50, but in your case we’re prepared to bend the rules a little.
See also: bend, rule, stretch
References in periodicals archive ?
Jane Cutler (author); SUSAN MARCUS BENDS THE RULES; Holiday House (Children's: Juvenile Fiction) 16.95 ISBN: 9780823430475
Being an anti-hero, he destroys everything in his path and bends the rules on the way to become A Man Apart.
MARCH: Bugged about a bad-news bud who continually bends the rules? Just keep your own spine straight and you shouldn't feel the sting of somebody else's stupid actions.
The Trio, a pickpockets-in-love thing from Germany, bends the rules governing both genre and sexuality.
Author Jim Bowman asks each priest the same questions about when and how the priest "bends the rules" in his ministry.
Figgis bends the rules. Sometimes he trips up, but he just as often hits the jackpot.