there is an exception to every rule

1579 T. F. News from North D1v There is no rule so generall, that it admitteth not exception, albeit i dout not..that honors chaunge maners.

1608 T. HEYWOOD Rape of Lucrece V. 169 A general concourse of wise men... Tarquin, if the general rule have no exceptions, thou wilt have an empty consistory [council chamber].

1773 R. GRAVES Spiritual Quixote III. IX. xviii. The rules of Grammar cannot, in any language, be reduced to a strict analogy; but all general rules have some exceptions.

1836 MARRYAT Midshipman Easy I. xii. I have little reason to speak in its favour..but there must be exceptions in every rule.

1981 Listener 21 May 683 ‘There is still something awe-inspiring about a duke,’ we are informed. Only those who share such values will want to read Heirs and Graces. Even they should remember that there is an exception to every rule.


Proverbs new dictionary.

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  • the exception proves the rule — ‘The very fact of an exception proves there must be a rule’ (Brewer); now frequently misunderstood and used to justify inconsistency. Cf. L. exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis, the exception confirms the rule in cases not excepted.… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • The Exception and the Rule — (in German Die Ausnahme und die Regel ) is a short play by famous German playwright Bertolt Brecht and is one of the many Lehrstücke (Teaching plays) he wrote in his later life. The objective of Brecht s Lehrstücke was that they be taken on tour… …   Wikipedia

  • rule — rule1 W2S2 [ru:l] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(instruction)¦ 2¦(advice)¦ 3¦(normal/usual)¦ 4¦(government)¦ 5¦(grammar/science etc)¦ 6 the rule of law 7 the rules of natural justice 8 rule of thumb 9 make it a rule (to do something) …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • rule — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) I n. law, regulation; government, authority; ruler. See rule, measurement. II Regulation for standard procedure Nouns 1. rule, law, ordinance, regulation, canon, code, act, measure, statute; decision,… …   English dictionary for students

  • every — see every little helps every man for himself every man for himself, and devil take the hindmost every man for himself, and God for us all every man has his price every man is the architect of his own fortune …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • rule — noun see the exception proves the rule there is an exception to every rule rules are made to be broken verb see divide and rule the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • exception — see the exception proves the rule there is an exception to every rule …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Exception paradox — Exception paradox: if every rule has an exception, then there must be an exception to the rule that every rule has an exception. From the logical point of view, this can be taken as a proof that the sentence every rule has an exception is false a …   Wikipedia

  • rule — 1 n 1 a: a prescribed guide for conduct or action b: a regulating principle or precept 2 a: an order or directive issued by a court in a particular proceeding esp. upon petition of a party to the proceeding that commands an officer or party to… …   Law dictionary

  • exception — /Ik sepSFn/ noun (C, U) 1 something or someone that is not included in a rule, does not follow the expected pattern etc: With one or two notable exceptions, there are few women conductors. | no exception (=used to emphasize that a law or rule… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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