June 06, 2016
rubric (noun)
\ROO-brik\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a name or heading under which something is classified : classification
How do you use it?
Matt found the rules for preparing footnotes in his dictionary's handbook of style under the rubric "Documentation of Sources."
Are you a word wiz?

"Rubric" comes from the Latin word "ruber," which means "red." Why do you think "rubric" came to refer to a heading in a book?

Answer D is the red-hot choice today. Centuries ago, scribes and printers used red ink to make special parts of books, such as chapter headings, stand out from the rest of the text. Middle English speakers called such a red heading a "rubrike." They had adapted that term from the French "rubrique," which itself came from the Latin "ruber," meaning "red." By the 14th century, English speakers had respelled the word to "rubric" and had broadened its meaning. They started using it for any authoritative rule or category, even ones that weren't printed in red ink.
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