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A manuscript page with rubrics.

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English rubrich, rubrik, through Old French rubrique, from Latin rubrīca (red ochre), the substance used to make red letters, from ruber (red), from Proto-Indo-European *reudh-.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹuːbɹɪk/
  • (file)
  • (file)


rubric (plural rubrics)

  1. A heading in a book highlighted in red.
  2. A title of a category or a class.
    That would fall under the rubric of things we can ignore for now.
  3. An established rule or custom, a guideline.
    • Hook
      All the clergy in England solemnly pledge themselves to observe the rubrics.
    • De Quincey
      Nay, as a duty, it had no place or rubric in human conceptions before Christianity.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Cowper to this entry?)
  4. (education) A printed set of scoring criteria for evaluating student work and for giving feedback.


Related terms[edit]



rubric (comparative more rubric, superlative most rubric)

  1. Coloured or marked with red; placed in rubrics.
    • Alexander Pope
      What though my name stood rubric on the walls / Or plaistered posts, with claps, in capitals?
  2. Of or relating to the rubric or rubrics; rubrical.


rubric (third-person singular simple present rubrics, present participle rubricking, simple past and past participle rubricked)

  1. (transitive) To adorn with red; to redden.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)

Further reading[edit]