yard

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: a small usually walled and often paved area open to the sky and adjacent to a building : court
b
: the grounds of a building or group of buildings
2
: the grounds immediately surrounding a house that are usually covered with grass
3
a
: an enclosure for livestock (such as poultry)
b(1)
: an area with its buildings and facilities set aside for a particular business or activity
(2)
: an assembly or storage area (as for dry-docked boats)
c
: a system of tracks for storage and maintenance of cars and making up trains
4
: a locality in a forest where deer herd in winter

yard

2 of 4

adjective

1
: of, relating to, or employed in the yard surrounding a building
yard light
2
: of, relating to, or employed in a railroad yard
a yard engine

yard

3 of 4

verb

yarded; yarding; yards

transitive verb

1
: to drive into or confine in a restricted area : herd, pen
2
: to deliver to or store in a yard

intransitive verb

: to congregate in or as if in a yard

yard

4 of 4

noun (2)

1
: any of various units of measure: such as
a
: a unit of length equal in the U.S. to 0.9144 meter see Weights and Measures Table
b
: a unit of volume equal to a cubic yard
2
a
: a great length or quantity
remembered yards of facts and figures
b
slang : one hundred dollars
3
: a long spar tapered toward the ends to support and spread the head of a square sail, lateen, or lugsail
4
: a slender glass about three feet tall having a flared opening and a bulbous bottom
also : the amount it contains
a yard of ale
Phrases
the whole nine yards
: all of a related set of circumstances, conditions, or details
who could learn the most about making records, about electronics and engineering, the whole nine yardsStephen Stills
sometimes used adverbially with go to indicate an all-out effort

Examples of yard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Boise State had 11 rushing attempts cover at least 30 yards, seven go for at least 40 and seven cover at least 50. Ron Counts, Idaho Statesman, 16 Feb. 2024 Punter Tommy Townsend averaged 50.8 yards on his five kicks, while linebacker Leo Chenal also blocked a 49ers extra-point attempt. Jesse Newell, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 Comfortably Numb was designed by the Italian architects at Nuvolari Lenard and handcrafted by the team at CRN’s superyacht yard in Ancona, Italy. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 15 Feb. 2024 Footage captured 20 minutes after the attack shows the big cat returning to sniff at the dog’s collar, which came off in the yard during the tussle. Travis Hall, Field & Stream, 14 Feb. 2024 Advertisement Just a few yards away at Civic Center Plaza, about a dozen members of the union that represents roughly 1,500 SDG&E employees held a counter-demonstration opposing the ballot campaign. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 In his last eight games, though, Kraft had 29 catches for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Rob Reischel, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 The weather has reverted to that bland meteorological perfection endemic to Los Angeles, despite a morning that was topsy-turvy, bringing down a small tree in Stewart’s yard. Alex Morris, Rolling Stone, 14 Feb. 2024 Lamb has increased his yards, catches and touchdowns each season that he’s been in the NFL while earning All-Pro selections in each of the last two years, ranking among the NFL’s top wide receivers. Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 13 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'yard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English yerd, going back to Old English geard "fence, enclosure, dwelling, home, district, country," going back to Germanic *garđa- (whence also Old Saxon gard "garden, dwelling, world," Middle Dutch gaert "garden, yard," Old High German gart "enclosure, circle, enclosed piece of property," Old Norse garðr "enclosure, courtyard," Gothic gards (i-stem) "house, household, courtyard"; from an n-stem *garđan-: Old Frisian garda "family property, courtyard," Old Saxon gardo "garden," Old High German garto), perhaps (if from *ghortós) going back to Indo-European *ghortos "enclosure," whence also Old Irish gort "arable or pasture field," Welsh garth "field, enclosure, fold," Breton garz "hedge," Latin hortus "garden," Greek chórtos "farmyard, pasturage"

Note: The above is only one possible account of this somewhat problematic etymon. If not from a Verner's Law variant of a putative stem *ghor-to-, the Germanic word could go back to *ghordho-, which would correspond to Slavic *gordŭ (Old Church Slavic gradŭ "town, garden, yard," Russian górod "city," Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian grâd) and Lithuanian gar͂das "pen, fold." The Slavic and Baltic words have, alternatively, been taken as loans from Germanic. This explanation would not, however, cover Albanian gardh "fence, wattled partition," or, more crucially, Sanskrit gṛháḥ "house," if it goes back to *ghr̥dhos, a zero-grade derivative. The Germanic etymon has traditionally been connected with a hypothetical verb base *ǵher- "grasp, enclose," seen in Sanskrit harati "(s/he) takes, fetches, bears," jahrur "were fetched," though the Albanian, Balto-Slavic and Sanskrit words do not show a palatovelar. A palatovelar is evidenced, however, in a group of semantically related words: Lithuanian žárdas "rack for drying grain, flax or pease, cattle hurdle," ža͂rdis "fenced pasture," Old Prussian sardis "fence," regional Russian zoród, zaród "stack of hay or grain sheaves, enclosure around a stack." Also associated with Germanic *garđa- is a strong verb *gerđan- hypothetically evidenced by Gothic *-gairdan (attested only as the past participle bigaurdans, translating Greek perizōsámenos "girding oneself") and a weak verb *gurdjan- with zero grade—see gird entry 1, girdle entry 1, girth entry 1.

Noun (2)

Middle English yerd, yerde "stick, pole, rod, spar supporting a sail, unit of measure," going back to Old English gierd "stick, rod," going back to Germanic *gazdjō (whence Old Frisian ierde "stick," Old Saxon gerdia, Old High German gerta), derivative of *gazda- "stick, rod" (whence Old High German gart "stick," Old Norse gaddr "goad, spike," Gothic gazds "sting"), going back to dialectal Indo-European *ghazdh- "stick, something pointed" (whence Latin hasta "spear," Middle Irish gat "withe, osier," probably also gas "shoot, twig"), probably a loanword from an unknown source

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1758, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of yard was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near yard

Cite this Entry

“Yard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yard. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

yard

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: a small often enclosed area open to the sky and next to a building
b
: the grounds of a building (as the grassy area around a house)
2
a
: an enclosure for livestock
b
: an area with its buildings and equipment set aside for a particular activity
a navy yard
c
: a system of railroad tracks for keeping and repairing cars

yard

2 of 2 noun
1
: any of various units of measure
especially : a unit of length equal in the U.S. to 0.9144 meter see measure
2
: a long pole tapered toward the ends that supports and spreads the top of a sail
Etymology

Noun

Old English geard "an enclosed space, yard"

Noun

Old English gierd "twig, measure"

More from Merriam-Webster on yard

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!