rule out

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to rule out

  1. (transitive) To cross an item out by drawing a straight line through it, as with a ruler.
  2. (idiomatic, transitive) To reject an option from a list of possibilities.
    As John Doe had an alibi, the police were able to rule him out as a suspect.
    • 2013, Luke Harding and Uki Goni, Argentina urges UK to hand back Falklands and 'end colonialism (in The Guardian, 3 January 2013)[1]
      The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has categorically ruled out any new negotiations saying the future of the Falklands can only be decided by the islanders themselves in accordance with the UN principle of self-determination.
  3. (idiomatic, transitive) To make something impossible.
    The constant rain ruled out any chance of a game of tennis.
  4. (transitive) to disallow
    • 2010 December 29, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0 - 1 Wolverhampton”, BBC:
      And Martin Skrtel's late headed goal was rightly ruled out for offside.