Dictionary

yardstick

noun yard·stick \ˈyärd-ˌstik\

: a long, flat tool that is one yard long and is used to measure things

: a rule or specific idea about what is acceptable or desirable that is used to judge or measure something

Full Definition of YARDSTICK

1
a :  a graduated measuring stick three feet (0.9144 meter) long
b :  a standard basis of calculation <a yardstick for measuring astronomical distances>
2
:  a standard for making a critical judgment :  criterion <measured by the yardstick of her first book> <was a great success by any yardstick>

Examples of YARDSTICK

  1. Some feel that test scores aren't an adequate yardstick for judging a student's ability.
  2. Ratings are the yardstick by which TV shows are evaluated by networks.

First Known Use of YARDSTICK

1610

Synonym Discussion of YARDSTICK

standard, criterion, gauge, yardstick, touchstone mean a means of determining what a thing should be. standard applies to any definite rule, principle, or measure established by authority <standards of behavior>. criterion may apply to anything used as a test of quality whether formulated as a rule or principle or not <questioned the critic's criteria for excellence>. gauge applies to a means of testing a particular dimension (as thickness, depth, diameter) or figuratively a particular quality or aspect <polls as a gauge of voter dissatisfaction>. yardstick is an informal substitute for criterion that suggests quantity more often than quality <housing construction as a yardstick of economic growth>. touchstone suggests a simple test of the authenticity or value of something intangible <fine service is one touchstone of a first-class restaurant>.
YARDSTICK Defined for Kids

yardstick

noun yard·stick \ˈyärd-ˌstik\

Definition of YARDSTICK for Kids

1
:  a measuring stick a yard long
2
:  a rule or standard by which something is measured or judged <His story by any yardstick was dull.>

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: yard tacklePrevious Word in the Dictionary: yard saleAll Words Near: yardstick
July 28, 2015
pachyderm Hear it
an elephant
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears