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yardstick

[yahrd-stik]
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noun
  1. a stick a yard long, commonly marked with subdivisions, used for measuring.
  2. any standard of measurement or judgment: Test scores are not the only yardstick of academic achievement.
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Origin of yardstick

An Americanism dating back to 1810–20; yard1 + stick1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for yardstick

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Put the end hole of the yardstick on the nail, as shown in Figure 28.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • Put the middle hole of the yardstick over the nail, as is shown in Figure 27.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • The holes in the yardstick must be large enough to let the head of this nail through.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • Miss Pamela cleared her throat and pointed with the yardstick.

  • That yardstick keeps all the other fellows at a distance, too.

    The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor

    Annie Fellows Johnston


British Dictionary definitions for yardstick

yardstick

noun
  1. a measure or standard used for comparisonon what kind of yardstick is he basing his criticism?
  2. a graduated stick, one yard long, used for measurement
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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

Word Origin and History for yardstick

n.

1816, from yard (n.2) + stick (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper