gold standard


Definition of gold standard

1 : a monetary standard under which the basic unit of currency is defined by a stated quantity of gold and which is usually characterized by the coinage and circulation of gold, unrestricted convertibility of other money into gold, and the free export and import of gold for settling of international obligations

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Examples of gold standard in a Sentence

the gold standard for accurate experimental procedures is the double-blind medication trial
Recent Examples on the Web For immunity, is the gold standard the level of a specific antibody or the neutralizing ability of the antibodies? Alan C. Love, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Evaluating risk and medical treatment in the time of coronavirus," 7 May 2020 The show is immaculately produced and reported and is the gold standard for thoughtful, biting and forward-thinking commentary on media, politics and society. oregonlive, "45 podcasts to pass the time and (maybe) make you smarter during isolation," 29 Apr. 2020 The gold standard is a score of seven to nine, meaning the earbud can be submerged in varying depths of water without failing. Will Egensteiner, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Wireless Headphones for the Office, Traveling, and Working Out," 28 Apr. 2020 Winser's gold standard is Il Ngwesi, in Kenya, owned and run by Maasai. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Lodges Are Going Above and Beyond to Give Back to Their Communities," 6 Apr. 2020 The gold standard for detecting interbreeding with archaic humans is to sequence ancient DNA from fossils of the archaic group, then look for traces of it in modern genomes. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Mysterious ‘ghost’ populations had multiple trysts with human ancestors," 20 Feb. 2020 But a much larger clinical trial that meets the gold standard of biomedical research is already in the works. Melissa Healy,, "Eating only during a 10-hour window improved health for those with common syndrome," 11 Dec. 2019 The gold standard in terms of actually removing lesions (rather than solely managing symptoms) is laparoscopic excision surgery, but surgeons can miss some of the wayward tissue or new lesions can grow back over time. Bizzy Whiting, SELF, "9 Things No One Tells You About Living With Endometriosis," 2 Dec. 2019 The gold standard for protecting the wound has been, believe it or not, to put the patient into a special cast. David G. Armstrong, The Conversation, "Diabetic foot wounds kill millions, but high-tech solutions and teamwork are making a difference," 26 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gold standard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gold standard

1811, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for gold standard

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The first known use of gold standard was in 1811

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Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gold standard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for gold standard

gold standard


Financial Definition of gold standard

What It Is

The gold standard is a monetary system in which the representative currency is based on a fixed amount of gold held by the central government.

How It Works

Paper currency is actually a "legal note," i.e. a debt between the currency holder and the government.  In theory, currency represents the obligation to make a payment of the stated amount when presented to the government.  When the gold standard was in place, an individual could present a $10 bill to a federal bank and receive $10 worth of gold in return. Gold was used as a base, because it was durable, rare, and almost universally valued.

The price of gold became a barometer for the underlying value of an economy.  But because gold is a tangible asset, the price of gold can rise and fall rapidly. It's also subject to speculation, discovery and theft.   As a result, the value of currency based on gold depends on the value of gold.

In the last century, the world's economies grew too quickly to be accurately represented by the world's reserves of gold. Therefore, gold standards have been abandoned by almost all economies. The United States abandoned the gold standard in 1971.

Why It Matters

While the gold standard regulates the value of exchanges throughout the economy, it also limits a central government's ability to make monetary adjustments in the current global economy.

After the abandonment of the gold standard, governments gained more ability to affect economies through monetary policy. Monetary policy is contingent upon the central government's ability to adjust an economy's demand for money through interest rates and the supply of currency.  This is especially important during times of emergency such as war or natural disaster.

Source: Investing Answers

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