rule of thumb


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Related to rule of thumb: Rule of thirds

rule of thumb

An approximation; a suggested method or guideline. A good rule of thumb is to plant your seedlings around the end of May.
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rule of thumb

a general principle developed through experiential rather than scientific means. As a rule of thumb, I move my houseplants outside in May. Going by a rule of thumb, we stop for gas every 200 miles when we are traveling.
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rule of thumb

A rough and useful principle or method, based on experience rather than precisely accurate measures. For example, His work with the youth group is largely by rule of thumb. This expression alludes to making rough estimates of measurements by using one's thumb. [Second half of 1600s]
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a rule of thumb

COMMON A rule of thumb is a general rule about something which is right in most cases. As a rule of thumb, drink a glass of water or pure fruit juice every hour you are travelling. A good rule of thumb for any type of studio photography is to use no more light sources than are strictly necessary. Note: This expression probably dates back to the use of the first joint of the thumb as a unit of measurement.
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rule of thumb

a broadly accurate guide or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory.
1998 New Scientist The best forecast of tomorrow's weather in any one place often comes not from a supercomputer, but from the rule of thumb that says: tomorrow it will be similar to today.
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a rule of ˈthumb

a quick, practical, but not exact, way of measuring or calculating something: As a rule of thumb you need a litre of paint to every 12 square metres of wall.This phrase may come from the fact that people often used their thumbs to estimate measurements.
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References in periodicals archive ?
max] rule of thumb be abandoned, despite it being entrenched in blue crab literature.
The Court's rule of thumb is thus something like "when in doubt, refuse to hear a case.
As a rule of thumb, most polar bears are right pawed.
Although some vision vendors claim the ability to interpolate to 1/15 pixel, a better rule of thumb is 1/10 or less.
The best rule of thumb is: "Always install the latest viewer you have.
And ``follow Clara'' isn't necessarily a great rule of thumb, since she isn't necessarily easy to find or - until she gets that blue and white polka-dotted dress - always even recognizable.
com, a leading consumer banking marketplace on the Internet, says that insisting on a 2% or 3% rate drop before refinancing is an old rule of thumb that no longer applies.
In terms of employment, Boileau says the general rule of thumb is one construction job is created per megawatt.
My rule of thumb has been that even if you believe you have come up with the mother of all turns of phrase, it may be "the bee's knees" as it goes into your PC, it's all too likely to be "23 skidoo" by the time it gets edited, printed, mailed, and into the hands of your prospects.
Limit your increases in mileage and speed to 10%, as a rule of thumb.
As a rule of thumb, each 1 percent rise in LDL concentration in the blood or 1 percent decrease in HDL concentration increases a person's risk of coronary heart disease by 1 percent, explains B.
Over the years, many have applied an incorrect rule of thumb for using the COLA benefit.
If a rule of thumb is utilized to develop a range of value for a small closely held business, one should be careful to understand what the rule of thumb proports to value.
Seres says a good rule of thumb is to make the baffle hole 40% larger than the flow hole in order to get the same flow rates throughout the system.