What does 'Exception that proves the rule' mean?

This expression is used by many to indicate that an exception in some way confirms a rule. Others say that the exception tests the rule. In its original legal sense, it meant that a rule could sometimes be inferred from an exemption or exception. In general use, the first meaning predominates nowadays, much to the annoyance of some pedants.
  • Category: Law

All idioms have been editorially reviewed, and submitted idioms may have been edited for correctness and completeness.

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