1580s, "to watch, guard, or keep order; to govern," from French policer, from police (see police (n.)). The original sense is obsolete. The meaning "to control or keep order in by means of police" is from 1837; figurative use by 1885. Related: Policed; policing.
c. 1200, "to control, guide, direct, make conform to a pattern," from Old French riuler "impose rule," from Latin regulare "to control by rule, direct," from Latin regula "rule, straight piece of wood," from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule."
The legal sense "establish by decision, lay down authoritatively" is recorded from early 15c. The meaning "mark with parallel straight lines" (with or as with the aid of a ruler) is from 1590s. The slang intransitive sense of "dominate all" is by 1975. "Rule Britannia," patriotic song, is from 1740. Related: Ruled; ruling.
late 14c., "having control of motion, causing motion, having power to move someone or something," from Old French motif "moving" or directly from Medieval Latin motivus "moving, impelling," from past-participle stem of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").
1640s, "riding school, a school for training horses and teaching horsemanship;" by 1776, "the art of horsemanship, movements proper to a trained horse," from French manège, from Italian maneggio "the handling or training of a horse," from maneggiare "to control (a horse);" see manage (v.).
c. 1300, "to vanquish, subdue, conquer," from Old French danter, variant of donter (12c., Modern French dompter) "be afraid of, fear, doubt; control, restrain," from Latin domitare, frequentative of domare "to tame" (see tame (v.)). Sense of "to intimidate, subdue the courage of" is from late 15c. Related: Daunted; daunting.
mid-15c., "lordship, sovereign or supreme authority," from Old French dominion "dominion, rule, power" and directly from Medieval Latin dominionem (nominative dominio), corresponding to Latin dominium "property, ownership," from dominus "lord, master," from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").
In law, "power of control, right of uncontrolled possession, use, and disposal" (1650s). From 1510s as "territory or people subject to a specific government or control."
British sovereign colonies often were called dominions, hence the Dominion of Canada, the formal title after the 1867 union, Dominion Day, the Canadian national holiday in celebration of the union, and Old Dominion, the popular name for the U.S. state of Virginia, first recorded 1778.
1879, originally in reference to the struggle (1872-86) between the German government and the Catholic Church over control of educational and ecclesiastical appointments, German, literally "struggle for culture," from Kultur + Kampf "combat, fight, struggle," from Old High German kampf (8c.), from Latin campus "field, battlefield" (see campus).