Definition of rule-bound in English:



  • Overly limited or restricted by rules.

    ‘a complex and rule-bound system, difficult to understand, and hard to administer’
    • ‘This facility is very rule-bound, procedural, and hierarchical, with highly-trained professionals overseeing its operations.’
    • ‘Genre fiction is regarded as "lesser" art because it is seen not as an "expressive" attempt to capture the artist's original vision, but as rule-bound conformity to genre expectations.’
    • ‘When the bonds that link citizens with their governors are stretched over ever greater distances and are ever more rule-bound and intolerant, they decay and snap.’
    • ‘One of the general issues to be considered in this book concerns the question of whether the age of bureaucracy has now gone and less rule-bound organizations now predominate.’
    • ‘Classical and neoclassical methods were beginning to be seen as rulebound, overly strict, and not much like what real life is like.’
    • ‘Gentlemen like Adams did not fit comfortably into this rule-bound world of specialization, division of labor, credentialing, and uniformity.’
    • ‘I must confess I did anticipate that his many years in the Civil Service would show that he might be rather rule-bound.’
    • ‘The background of war and ecological crises will make society and architects more conservative and rule-bound.’
    • ‘Fiction has to be even more rule bound because it is a harder kind of make-believe.’
    • ‘A less rule-bound nation would shrug off such trivialities.’
    • ‘Almost paradoxically, the rule-bound sonnet form was seen as enabling sincerity and spontaneity.’
    • ‘Here traders deal with one another in a market system that stretches back hundreds of years in its adherence to ancient rule-bound traditions.’
    • ‘Students should not expect this seminar to instill a rigid sense of rule-bound correctness, whether grammatical or formal.’
    • ‘Military careers spent in hierarchical, rule-bound, tightly controlled organizations are not necessarily the best preparation for accurately judging the fluid world of politics at home and abroad.’
    • ‘In schools, public services and in our dealings with strangers, our rule-bound, box-ticking, risk-averse culture is designed to protect us from one another.’
    • ‘They are old-fashioned, rule-bound, bureaucratic institutions.’
    • ‘Teaching approaches are rarely static or rule-bound.’
    • ‘Most financial reporting systems are moving away from a rulebound to a principles based framework.’
    • ‘The actions and behaviors of uncaring nurses were rule-bound and super-efficient; these nurses appeared tense, and they avoided eye contact with patients.’
    • ‘Because of their size and complexity, rational-legal bureaucracies are much more rule-bound than the alternatives.’
    rigid, inflexible, complicated
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