standard

1 of 2

noun

stan·​dard ˈstan-dərd How to pronounce standard (audio)
1
: a conspicuous object (such as a banner) formerly carried at the top of a pole and used to mark a rallying point especially in battle or to serve as an emblem
2
a
: a long narrow tapering flag that is personal to an individual or corporation and bears heraldic devices
b
: the personal flag of the head of a state or of a member of a royal family
c
: an organization flag carried by a mounted or motorized military unit
3
: something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example : criterion
quite slow by today's standards
4
: something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality
5
a
: the fineness and legally fixed weight of the metal used in coins
b
: the basis of value in a monetary system
the gold standard
6
: a structure built for or serving as a base or support
7
a
: a shrub or herb grown with an erect main stem so that it forms or resembles a tree
b
: a fruit tree grafted on a stock that does not induce dwarfing
8
or standard petal
a
: the upper, large, often lobed petal of a papilionaceous flower (as of a pea or bean plant) : banner sense 6, vexillum sense 3 compare keel entry 2 sense 2b, wing entry 1 sense 2e(2)
b
: one of the three inner usually erect and incurved petals of an iris compare fall entry 2 sense 3f
9
: a musical composition (such as a song) that has become a part of the standard repertoire
10
: a vehicle with a manual transmission : manual
Her new car is a standard.
standardless adjective

standard

2 of 2

adjective

1
a
: constituting or conforming to a standard especially as established by law or custom
standard weight
b
: sound and usable but not of top quality
standard beef
2
a
: regularly and widely used, available, or supplied
standard automobile equipment
b
: well-established and very familiar
the standard opera
3
: having recognized and permanent value
a standard reference work
4
: substantially uniform and well established by usage in the speech and writing of the educated and widely recognized as acceptable
standard pronunciation is subject to regional variations
standardly adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for standard

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 standard in a Sentence

Noun By modern standards, the house is just too small. This book is the standard by which all others must be judged. Adjective a window of standard width The movie was a pretty standard romantic comedy. The word is considered standard.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Advertisement After the state Legislature raised the standard of proof required to prove a murder, a judge reduced Martinez’s conviction to misdemeanor assault. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2024 Music supervisors Ollie White and Tom Stanford have put together a soundtrack bursting with old-school cuts (The Ronettes, Sinatra, Bay City Rollers) that evoke the holidays without being on-the-nose Christmas standards. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for standard 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'standard.' 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

Middle English, from Anglo-French estandard banner, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English standan to stand and probably to Old High German hart hard

First Known Use

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of standard was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near standard

Cite this Entry

“Standard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/standard. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

standard

1 of 2 noun
stan·​dard ˈstan-dərd How to pronounce standard (audio)
1
a
: a figure used as an emblem by an organized body of people
the eagle was the Roman legion's standard
b
: the personal flag of the ruler of a state
2
a
: something set up by authority or by general consent as a rule for measuring or as a model
a standard of weight
standards of good manners
b
: the basis of value in a monetary system
the gold standard
3
: a structure that serves as a support
a lamp standard

standard

2 of 2 adjective
1
: used as or meeting a standard established by law or custom
standard weight
2
: regularly and widely used
standard practice in the trade
3
: having recognized and permanent value
standard reference works
4
: well established by usage in the speech or writing of the educated and widely recognized as acceptable
standard spelling

Medical Definition

standard

1 of 2 noun
stan·​dard ˈstan-dərd How to pronounce standard (audio)
: something set up or established by an authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality

standard

2 of 2 adjective
: constituting or conforming to a standard especially as established by law or custom
standard weight

Legal Definition

standard

noun
stan·​dard
1
: something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model, example, or point of reference
the standard of the reasonable person
2
: something established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality
3
: the basis of value in a monetary system

More from Merriam-Webster on standard

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