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90s Slang You Should Know


[steel-yahrd, stil-yerd] /ˈstilˌyɑrd, ˈstɪl yərd/
a portable balance with two unequal arms, the longer one having a movable counterpoise and the shorter one bearing a hook or the like for holding the object to be weighed.
Origin of steelyard
First recorded in 1630-40; steel + yard1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for steelyard
Historical Examples
  • The scales and steelyard which we have given are said to have been found at the same time.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • Then Bridget Bolster was put into the box, and she was examined by Mr. steelyard.

    Orley Farm Anthony Trollope
  • Bows, moreover, may be broken on the steelyard in the weighing of them.

  • To this she adhered firmly, and Mr. steelyard handed her over to Mr. Chaffanbrass.

    Orley Farm Anthony Trollope
  • On their return to court Mr. steelyard got up to examine Dockwrath, who was put into the box as the first witness.

    Orley Farm Anthony Trollope
  • The young merchant is seated among his daily surroundings in the steelyard.

    Holbein Beatrice Fortescue
  • There were some other Germans domiciled in England, but nowhere else were they so conspicuous or influential as at the steelyard.

  • Off the steelyard and at the Tower are men and horses in the water.

    Maps of Old London Anonymous
  • And the reason why he sent his ships to the South was that the trade of the North was in the hands of the steelyard.

    The History of London Walter Besant
  • To the steelyard came all the traffic of the Orient, all the spices of the merchant.

    Holbein Samuel Levy Bensusan
British Dictionary definitions for steelyard


a portable balance consisting of a pivoted bar with two unequal arms. The load is suspended from the shorter one and the bar is returned to the horizontal by adding weights to the longer one
Word Origin
C17: from steel + yard1 (in the archaic sense: a rod or pole)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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