Difference Between Reign & Rule

Reign vs Rule

Reign and rule are terms with similar meanings, both referring to the governance by a king or other authority over a territory. However, rule has various other meanings, and it is not always appropriate to use the two words interchangeably. This article aims to clarify the meanings of the two words to help readers use either one in a specific context.


Reign is a term that has traditionally been used to refer to the time or period during which a king or emperor occupied the throne. When used as a time period or duration, reign becomes a noun. However, it is also employed as a verb to express domination, control, or even influence of one or the other kind as in violence reigns, poverty reigns, etc. History books frequently use reign to refer to the time periods during which a particular king or queen remained on the throne of a territory, such as during the reign of Queen Victoria or the reign of King Phillip. Moreover, the word reign is used to reflect the supremacy of a king or queen in royal rule or authority, as in King Edward reigned. Reign is also used to indicate something that is predominant or prevalent, as in the reign of terror or panic reigned.


Rule is a term primarily used to refer to a set of regulations or guidelines that are established within a place or aspect of life. Examples include codes of conduct in various places like hospitals, churches, libraries, schools, and offices, which are referred to as rules. Nevertheless, rule is also employed to reflect the authority or supremacy of a person, such as a king or queen. In this sense, rule becomes synonymous with govern and reminds one of governance. If one tries to differentiate between rule and reign, he finds that a king rules during his reign.

Rule of law is a phrase that reflects the fact that no one is bigger than the law in a place. If a country is ruled by a dictator, it simply means that the dictator is more significant than all the country’s laws.

Reign vs. Rule

Key Takeaways

  • Reign is used more for the time period during which a king or queen rules a territory (reign of Queen Victoria). In this sense, it is a noun.
  • When reign is used as a verb, it reflects the authority or supremacy of the king or the emperor (King Edward reigned). This is where reign becomes synonymous with rule.
  • Rule is a guideline or code of conduct to be followed in a place or situation, but it is also used to reflect the authority or domination of a person, such as the rule of the dictator or king.

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Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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