Etymology
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guideline (n.)

1785, "line marked on a surface before cutting," from guide + line (n.). Meaning "rope for steering a hot-air balloon" is from 1846. In figurative use by 1948. Related: Guidelines.

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Definitions of guideline

guideline (n.)
a light line that is used in lettering to help align the letters;
guideline (n.)
a detailed plan or explanation to guide you in setting standards or determining a course of action;
Synonyms: road map
guideline (n.)
a rule or principle that provides guidance to appropriate behavior;
Synonyms: guidepost / rule of thumb
From wordnet.princeton.edu