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.
  5. (transitive) To make unavailable.
    • 2014 November 14, Stephen Halliday, “Scotland 1-0 Republic of Ireland: Maloney the hero”, The Scotsman:
      Flair and invention were very much at a premium, suffocated by the relentless pace and often fractious nature of proceedings. The absence of James Morrison from the centre of Scotland’s midfield, the West Brom man ruled out on the morning of the game by illness, had already diminished the creative capacity of the home side in that department.