Definition of rule something out (or in) in English:

rule something out (or in)

phrasal verb

  • Exclude (or include) something as a possibility.

    ‘the prime minister ruled out a November election’
    • ‘Something in her voice sounded as if she hadn't ruled the possibility out.’
    • ‘The strain of her illness was made almost unbearable when Kevin and Tina found out that they had been ruled out as possible donors.’
    • ‘While the priority at present is to rent the property at £l,500 per month, the possibility of a sale has not been ruled out and the price can be negotiated.’
    • ‘It is possible to develop an allergy to a product you've been using for years, so don't rule this possibility out.’
    • ‘After other possible causes of the child's symptoms are ruled out, the doctor may recommend an elimination diet to help diagnose and identify a food allergy.’
    • ‘Although separation would not take place at this stage, it had not been ruled out as a possibility should the twins defy the odds and survive, he added.’
    • ‘Since phlebotomy and technical errors were ruled out, the possibility existed that the mother had developed an antibody to a paternal antigen that she did not possess which was inherited by each twin.’
    • ‘Your doctor must rule them out before being certain you have asthma.’
    • ‘Possible sightings have been ruled out and equipment which can be used to detect if earth has been recently disturbed has found nothing.’
    • ‘Once physical causes are ruled out, your doctor may refer you to a mental-health professional who specializes in treating anxiety disorders.’
    • ‘I don't rule the possibility out, but tend to think it is unlikely.’
    • ‘There have been a number of dog thefts in recent months and while we are not linking them specifically we don't rule this possibility out.’
    • ‘Although the specific locus of task-set inhibition is not yet clear from the available evidence, three possibilities can be ruled out.’
    • ‘But the possibility that life could originate on the ocean surface has not been ruled out.’
    • ‘They are happy as long as I give it a try, give it my best before absolutely ruling it out as a possibility.’
    • ‘It could have been that she was model, but most people ruled that possibility out.’
    • ‘However, he would not rule it out as a future possibility.’
    • ‘The judge said that he thought this unlikely, although he could not rule it out as a possibility.’
    • ‘And therefore a possibility of that exists, certainly, one wouldn't rule it out.’
    • ‘At the time of writing it would be only a daylight facility, but lighting the bays, and possibly the range has not been ruled out.’
    exclude, eliminate, reject, dismiss, disregard
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