rule of thumb

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - rule of thumb

"rule of thumb"

a general or approximate principle, procedure, or rule based on experience or practice, rather than a specific, scientific calculation


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - rule of thumb

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  All ready for your big interview tomorrow?

Friend 2:  As ready as I can be except I'm not sure what to wear.

Friend 1:  Well, there's no hard data, but the rule of thumb says that you should dress one level higher than the position you are applying for.

Friend 2:  Sounds reasonable.  That's what I'll do.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - rule of thumb

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I seem to be having a hard time creating this presentation. I seem to have just too much information on each slide.

Colleague 2:  Sounds like information delivery rather than a presentation.

Colleague 1:  What can I do?

Colleague 2:  As a general rule of thumb, if you want to keep your audience's attention, put no more than three points on a slide.

Colleague 1:  Is that a fact?

Colleague 2:  No, it's not a fact but it has proven effective with experience.

rule of thumb - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   4,242   click for frequency by country

rule of thumb - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for rule of thumb.

rule of thumb - Examples:

1)  My rule of thumb is to wear a print scarf with a solid ensemble and a solid scarf with ...

2)  ... you use "do what's best for the users" as your rule of thumb for any decision, you're more likely to grow into a successful business.

3)  ... you have a regular TV that's not wide screen, the rule of thumb is that you should sit no closer than twice the diagonal measurement in inches.

4)  ... we have developed several multivariate-based wealth equations. A simple rule of thumb, however, is more than adequate in computing one's expected net worth.

5)  A heuristic is a rule of thumb, simplification, or educated guess.

6)  The old rule of thumb is that a once-a-year vacation should cost about one week's salary.

7)  A good rule of thumb is to wait a least a day before you call her, especially if you ...

8)  It is a good rule of thumb to be skeptical about the limits of knowledge experts work under.

9)  Since no one eats by percentage of daily calories, a good rule of thumb is to choose foods rich in unsaturated fats over foods rich in saturated fats whenever ...

10)  ... year for the average retiree (assuming you stick to a widely accepted rule of thumb that says you should limit your withdrawals to 4% of your savings during your first ...

11)  The rule of thumb is that when in doubt, ask someone what they prefer to be called.

12)  ... need to practice and work on a variety of problems. As a rule of thumb, for each hour you spend in an instructional setting, you need 3 hours ...

13)  The rule of thumb is, the healthier you are, the lower the premiums on your insurance policy.

14)  A good rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes every 300-400 miles, depending on your running style.

15)  My rule of thumb is that computer technology is good for 7 years.

16)  As a rule of thumb, anything labeled loin or round is lean.

17)  There's a general rule of thumb that you should never take more in student loans than your expected annual salary after ...

18)  A good rule of thumb in any relationship is never to give more than you get.

19)  ... when you walk into an interview, dress the part. The general rule of thumb is to dress a level above the position, unless specifically told otherwise.

20)  A general rule of thumb would be no combustibles within three feet of the heater.