yard·​stick | \ ˈyärd-ˌstik How to pronounce yardstick (audio) \

Definition of yardstick

1a : 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

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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 (such 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

Examples of yardstick in a Sentence

Some feel that test scores aren't an adequate yardstick for judging a student's ability. Ratings are the yardstick by which TV shows are evaluated by networks.
Recent Examples on the Web While that yardstick can be tough to achieve for many ESG disclosures, labor costs — measured in dollars — eminently qualifies as a plausible and useful disclosure item. Shivaram Rajgopal, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Identifying potential informants was another yardstick. Tom Robbins, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 The antibody response is the yardstick by which the potential efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines are being judged in phase 1 trials and Vaxart’s candidate fared badly on this front, failing to induce neutralizing antibodies in most trial subjects. Trefis Team, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2021 But by one important yardstick – the number of people who lost power, and potentially the duration of those outages – this weekend’s storm appears to be an unprecedented doozy. oregonlive, 16 Feb. 2021 Even by that yardstick, investment in healthcare-service startups is hot, rising to 10% of total venture investment, according to PitchBook, also a record and double the median of the previous 10 years. Rolfe Winkler, WSJ, 3 May 2021 That doesn't mean the formerly reliable yardstick is finished. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2021 Reyes, the player who could serve as a yardstick for Lindor as a speedy, switch-hitting shortstop with a joyful approach to the game, had an average WAR of 3.1 during his original nine-year stint with the team. New York Times, 31 Mar. 2021 Hinderlie replied that refinery support isn't the proper yardstick; energy demand is, and well beyond Minnesota, too. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, 23 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yardstick.' 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 yardstick

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for yardstick

Time Traveler

The first known use of yardstick was in 1610

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Statistics for yardstick

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yardstick.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yardstick. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for yardstick



English Language Learners Definition of yardstick

: 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


yard·​stick | \ ˈyärd-ˌstik How to pronounce yardstick (audio) \

Kids Definition of yardstick

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on yardstick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yardstick

Nglish: Translation of yardstick for Spanish Speakers


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