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To eliminate, prevent, preclude, or cancel someone or something as a possibility. They ruled Jim out when they were considering a replacement manager due to his tendency to show up late. I guess that rules out our trip to Portugal this summer.
rule someone or something out
to prevent, disqualify, overrule, or cancel someone or something. John's bad temper rules him out for the job. The rainy weather ruled out a picnic for the weekend.
1. Eliminate from consideration, exclude, as in The option of starting over again has been ruled out. [Second half of 1800s]
2. Prevent, make impossible, as in The snowstorm ruled out our weekly rehearsal. [First half of 1900s]
1. To prevent or preclude something: The snowstorm ruled out their weekly meeting. Our lack of funds ruled the vacation plans out.
2. To eliminate something from consideration; exclude something: The referee has ruled out the option of starting over. I wanted to drop the course, but school policy ruled that option out.
3. To draw a line or lines through something to delete or obscure it; cross something out: The copyeditors ruled out all of our mistakes on the manuscript.