to bend the rules

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - bend the rules

"to bend the rules"

to allow something to be done that is not usually allowed;

to alter the rules slightly;

to interpret loosely


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - bend the rules

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: It's Friday afternoon at four o'clock. All our work is finished and it is very quiet. Let's leave early.

Colleague 2: But that is against the rules.

Colleague 1: So, we bend the rules a little. Nobody will care. Besides, it is only an hour early.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - bend the rules

Two students are talking ...

Student 1: With attending my grandmother's funeral and then having the flu for a week, I am just not going to have my term paper finished on time.

Student 2: Talk to the professor. She will bend the rules sometimes under extenuating circumstances.

Student 1: You think she will grant an extension?

Student 2: You can always ask. Professors do have the power to alter the deadlines.

Test Your Understanding  

to bend the rules - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   617   click for frequency by country

to bend the rules - Gerund Form:

Bending the rules to suit one's needs is morally controversial.

to bend the rules - Examples:

1)  ... probably did just what many rival casino execs might also do: bent the rules when an especially large "whale" needed a little favor. 

2)  As a parent you might be inclined to bend the rules a bit. Unfortunately your surrogate parent - the school - will not ...

3)  ... to be flexible in resolving complaints. Give employees some leeway in deciding when to bend the rules.

4)  ... becomes frustrated when she finds herself shut out from her own case. She considers bending the rules in the name of justice, risking her career in the process.

5)  Pennsylvania apparently showed some "flexibility" in Applewhite's case, bending the rules to accommodate her circumstances.

6)  ... seems to make you want even more, and that increased want leads you to bend the rules or break the rules to serve your self-interest.

7)  But the real problems occur when people deliberately bend the rules and when they over-hype findings.

8)  Knowing how to make mechanical and electrical things work for you, knowing how to bend the rules of those (and other systems) to get what you need, ...

9)  ... lighthearted book shamelessly describes how to cut the corners and bend the rules that never mattered much anyway.

10)  That said, the SEC isn't going to tell its officiating crews to bend the rules for one team over another.

11)  He's a man known for moneymaking schemes and cheating by bending the rules.

12)  If your child acts up, don't bend the rules, but understand what feelings may be motivating that behavior.

13)  And maybe it's right and I should feel pain for bending the rules But I'm not the one who's trying to ...

14)  ... bowls me over that those teachers had such faith in me that they chose to bend the rules

15)  ... has developed his own individualized way of living day to day, bending the rules, avoiding punishment, and making life a little more bearable under the ...

16)  But I guess when you feel the competition over-shadowing you, you bend the rules for your benefit.

17)  ... the way we'll make $5.4 billion like Peterffy did, is by bending the rules and building systems that give us a leg up on the competition, ...

18)  ... misrepresented her ancestry to get her job why should we be surprised to find she bent the rules here?

19)  ... but I'm asking for a bit of literary license here to bend the rules of rhetoric in favor of the experiential world.

20)  In a world where people continually seek shortcuts, look for gray areas, bend the rules, or manipulate the truth, this kind of integrity is refreshing.