as in criterion
something set up as an example against which others of the same type are compared this essay will be the yardstick by which I grade the others

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How does the noun yardstick contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of yardstick are criterion, gauge, standard, and touchstone. While all these words mean "a means of determining what a thing should be," yardstick is an informal substitute for criterion that suggests quantity more often than quality.

housing construction as a yardstick of economic growth

When is criterion a more appropriate choice than yardstick?

The meanings of criterion and yardstick largely overlap; however, 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

When might gauge be a better fit than yardstick?

The words gauge and yardstick are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When would standard be a good substitute for yardstick?

While the synonyms standard and yardstick are close in meaning, standard applies to any definite rule, principle, or measure established by authority.

standards of behavior

When could touchstone be used to replace yardstick?

While in some cases nearly identical to yardstick, touchstone suggests a simple test of the authenticity or value of something intangible.

fine service is one touchstone of a first-class restaurant

Thesaurus Entries Near yardstick

Cite this Entry

“Yardstick.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/yardstick. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

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