Definition of rubric in US English:



  • 1A heading on a document.

    • ‘Ten chapters, each laid out under the rubric of a song title, map out some of the main concerns of popular music studies in a textbook format.’
    • ‘It does indeed cover an immense array of topics that fall under the general rubric of food studies, including important but less sexy subjects, such as the problem of defining malnutrition.’
    • ‘Automatic writing was one activity that the surrealists housed under the rubric of psychic automatism.’
    • ‘While visual art lumped under the rubric of ‘postmodernism’ typically accessed a shared matrix of cultural tropes and formal devices, it often differed radically in intent from work to work.’
    • ‘Even for those who work under the rubric of ‘political economy,’ the political has remained something of an afterthought except, perhaps, as a statement of personal distaste with current economic trends.’
    • ‘The discussions were organised under the rubric of four broad themes: economic production, access to wealth, civil society and the public arena, and, political power and ethics.’
    • ‘Because it comes under the rubric of internet self-regulation, this kind of censorship is seen as less intrusive.’
    • ‘Under the rubric of ‘cultural studies,’ theorists claim to possess the key to understanding all sorts of human activity, from crime to colonialism.’
    • ‘In resistance to globalization, many alternatives identified under the general rubric of anti - globalization movements have emerged.’
    • ‘Although this reader is offered under the rubric of book history, in fact it encompasses the many forms of American print culture, including newspapers and magazines.’
    • ‘So what then should we include under the rubric of ancient art?’
    • ‘It was perhaps the first and the bitterest indictment of the press's irresistible tendency to trade in human suffering under the rubric of ‘human interest’.’
    • ‘These days, Wood estimates that three-quarters of logging in the national forests is being done under the rubric of fire prevention.’
    • ‘These interventions fall under the general rubric of cognitive behavioural therapy.’
    • ‘He concludes that it does not fall under any of the commonly used rubrics - observational science, phenomenology, hermeneutics - which distinguish the intentional focus of other disciplines.’
    • ‘By placing research from many disciplines under an evolutionary rubric, this book may stimulate conversations across disciplines and, in the process, attract new adherents to an evolutionary way of thinking.’
    • ‘At the risk of oversimplifying, the relevant questions can be gathered under three crude rubrics as the What, How, and Why questions.’
    • ‘It is significant that social movements research, previously rather marginal, has been gradually drawn into the centre of social theory, particularly under the rubric of new social movements.’
    • ‘But assimilating all these wildly different forms of association under the rubric of ‘city’ only made the term so abstract that it told us nothing.’
    title, caption, legend, subtitle, subheading, wording, inscription, name, headline, banner headline
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    1. 1.1 A direction in a liturgical book as to how a church service should be conducted.
      • ‘Fr Robert said he was totally taken with Mass, the centuries of tradition behind it, the liturgy, the rubrics, the rituals and he decided to become a Catholic.’
      • ‘Nothing was to be omitted from the liturgy ‘except where the rubrics allow the use of the organ to replace several verses of the text’.’
      • ‘Pope Benedict XVI is an expert on liturgy and the rubrics of liturgical celebration.’
      • ‘According to its rubrics the officiating priest stood with his back to the congregation facing [liturgical] east and the entire Mass was said or sung in Latin.’
      • ‘Archbishop Parker's Advertisements, issued in response to disputes over clerical dress and ceremonies, enforced the rubrics of the Prayer Book.’
      ritual, worship, service, ceremony, rite, observance, celebration, ordinance, office, sacrament, solemnity, ceremonial
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    2. 1.2 A statement of purpose or function.
      ‘art for a purpose, not for its own sake, was his rubric’
      • ‘Religion as an academic discipline and campus ethos was, in general, the guiding rubric; that left out, for example, religious rituals and practices.’
      • ‘The standard rubric is that critics care about literary quality, not commercial success.’
    3. 1.3 A category.
      ‘party policies on matters falling under the rubric of law and order’
      • ‘If we accept this administration's policy of designating other human beings as less than human, then we have no moral challenge to those nations who torture women under the very same rubric.’
      • ‘To complicate matters slightly, I would like also to bring up another rubric - that of ‘local identity’.’
      • ‘In your average bookstore, the volumes stacked by the dozen and sold under the heading of Self-Help are liable to be found quartered in the same part of the building as those falling under the less obviously improving rubric of Philosophy.’
      • ‘In Anglo - American psychiatry, much of what was characterized as conversion hysteria in psychodynamic psychiatry is now classified under the more scientific-sounding rubric of somatization disorder.’
      • ‘There is as much space, under this rubric of textuality, for the popular icons of the day as for Shakespeare, the greatest among the canonical authors.’
      • ‘Fourteen works in various mediums sat quite comfortably beneath this rubric, each straddling the realms of commercial advertising and formalist abstraction.’
      • ‘Harold Budd has fallen under the New Age rubric in more recent years; the two works presented here date from 1969-70 and show a more provocative side of this interesting composer.’
      • ‘While Ranade deploys the resources of the surrealist tradition to achieve his ends, it would be simplistic to gloss his work under that rubric.’
      • ‘The photographs in the archive can be categorized under three major rubrics: objects, portraits, and landscapes.’
      • ‘He includes metallic standards (gold, silver, bimetallic) under this rubric.’
      • ‘The first of them grouped all then-living independent artists, whether native or foreign, under the School of Paris rubric, no matter where in France they worked.’
      • ‘This is different than, say, any of us choosing to include a list of sites we regularly visit, rubrics or categories we embrace.’
      • ‘In addition, variables more associated with dysregulation such as affect lability and impulsivity fall under this rubric.’
      • ‘It is under this rubric that I have attempted my analysis of Klute.’
      • ‘Under this rubric are included such forces as the local militia and the constabulary.’
      • ‘I begin with the most obvious, and certainly the most important, change that falls under this rubric: the replacement of socialism by capitalism in almost all the formerly socialist countries.’
      • ‘Some ecumenical women's programs fall under familiar rubrics such as the environment, literacy and education, and women's health and sexuality.’
      • ‘I'm not eager to embrace the term documentary, even though in a larger sense they would fall under that rubric.’
      • ‘Most of these patients would fit under the previously used rubric of Banti's syndrome.’
      • ‘I answer this quandary by suggesting that we exist under two different constitutions - one for peace and another for war; and whatever exercise of power that cannot be justified under one rubric can be under the other.’


Late Middle English rubrish (originally referring to a heading, section of text, etc. written in red for distinctiveness), from Old French rubriche, from Latin rubrica (terra) ‘red (earth or ocher as writing material)’, from the base of rubeus ‘red’; the later spelling is influenced by the Latin form.