unwritten rule

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unwritten rule

A law, provision, or guideline that is generally accepted but not formally established or enforced. It's become something of an unwritten rule that people from different departments only sit together during lunch. It's just an unwritten rule that a new president will make his previous tax returns public—seems kind of suspicious if they don't. The unwritten rule for many years was that successful athletes were given free passes for bad behavior or poor grades, so long as they remained successful in their sport.
See also: rule, unwritten
References in periodicals archive ?
The participant interviews yielded the following three major themes (see Figure 1) that gave insight into developing UWR knowledge as an aspiring professional hockey player: (I) Hockey's unwritten rule development initially occurs as a transition out of the youth hockey classification; (II) Players consent to the unwritten rules to earn team respect, trust, and promote the well-being of the team; (III) The unwritten rule development process is unique for each player.
Motherwell's James Scott broke the unwritten rule of etiquette and broke away.
Jobs for the boys all round, and with the unwritten rule that the First Minister must speak Welsh.
Nocturnal predators are rousing from their slumbers, About to slay quarry in large numbers, Nature heartless and cruel, "Dog eat dog" the unwritten rule.
There's a lot of sanctimonious talk from pundits saying that he's gone against the unwritten rule, what goes on in the dressing room stays in the dressing room, and, you shouldn't criticise your players publicly.
Sometimes, you forget the unwritten rule and your gaze inadvertently shifts to a face and as suddenly slides back to contemplation of the door or footwear of fellow passengers.
PENELOPE Cruz breaks the unwritten rule of fashion by showing plenty of leg and cleavage on the red carpet - and pulls it off with style.
Wiggins thrashed the field by 76 seconds to extend his overall lead to more than three minutes and, given the unwritten rule not to attack the yellow jersey on the final day, that will be enough to bring him victory barring accidents.
"Well his player was the one who broke the unwritten rule.
Maybe this episode will provide an unwritten amendment to the unwritten rule.
Every girl who has been torn by betraying the unwritten rule in friendship will hear her own thoughts echoed in Sarah's.
"I think that that's the unwritten rule, is that the guy should call the girl," CBS quoted her as telling the Early Show.
The Manchester United boss believes football's conmen are taking advantage of the unwritten rule that play is halted to allow injured play-ers to receive treatment.
That broke the unwritten rule against revealing a private conversation.
Mr Panke, who has overseen quick growth at BMW since becoming chief executive in 2002, would not be the first member of the management board to break the unwritten rule that retirement at age 60 is the way to go.