Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Rubric


The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is rubric. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Rubric is a somewhat formal word that is most often used to mean “an established rule, tradition, or custom” or “something under which a thing is classed.” In the latter use it is a synonym of category.

// Despite their widely divergent tones and levels of age appropriateness, Friday the 13thGremlins, and Frankenweenie all fall under the general rubric of horror movies.

RUBRIC in Context

“Contrary to all the messages urging parents to do more for their kids, a growing number of research studies point to the advantages of doing less. Much of that research comes under the rubric of autonomy-supportive parenting, which essentially means allowing and encouraging kids to take greater charge of their own lives and do more for themselves.” — Peter Gray, Psychology Today, 30 May 2022

Did You Know?

Centuries ago, whenever manuscript writers inserted special instructions or explanations into a book, they put them in red ink to set them off from the black used in the main text. (They used the same practice to highlight saints’ names and holy days in calendars, a practice which gave us the term red-letter day.) Ultimately, such special headings or comments came to be called rubrics, a term that traces back to ruber, the Latin word for “red.” While the printing sense remains in use today, rubric has developed other meanings over the years, and is most often encountered in its extended sense referring to a class or category under which something is organized.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a ReplyCancel reply