Origin of standard

1125–75; Middle English < Old French, probably < Frankish *standord (compare German Standort standing-point), conformed to -ard -ard
Related formspre·stand·ard, noun, adjectivesu·per·stand·ard, noun, adjectiveun·stand·ard, adjective

Synonyms for standard

1, 3. gauge, basis, pattern, guide. Standard, criterion refer to the basis for making a judgment. A standard is an authoritative principle or rule that usually implies a model or pattern for guidance, by comparison with which the quantity, excellence, correctness, etc., of other things may be determined: She could serve as the standard of good breeding. A criterion is a rule or principle used to judge the value, suitability, probability, etc., of something, without necessarily implying any comparison: Wealth is no criterion of a person's worth. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for standard

Contemporary Examples of standard

Historical Examples of standard

British Dictionary definitions for standard



an accepted or approved example of something against which others are judged or measured
(often plural) a principle of propriety, honesty, and integrityshe has no standards
a level of excellence or qualitya low standard of living
any distinctive flag, device, etc, as of a nation, sovereign, or special cause
  1. any of a variety of naval or military flags
  2. the colours of a cavalry regiment
a flag or emblem formerly used to show the central or rallying point of an army in battle
a large tapering flag ending in two points, originally borne by a sovereign or high-ranking noble
the commodity or commodities in which is stated the value of a basic monetary unitthe gold standard
an authorized model of a unit of measure or weight
a unit of board measure equal to 1980 board feet
(in coinage) the prescribed proportion by weight of precious metal and base metal that each coin must contain
an upright pole or beam, esp one used as a support
  1. a piece of furniture consisting of an upright pole or beam on a base or support
  2. (as modifier)a standard lamp
  1. a plant, esp a fruit tree, that is trained so that it has an upright stem free of branches
  2. (as modifier)a standard cherry
a song or piece of music that has remained popular for many years
the largest petal of a leguminous flower, such as a sweetpea
(in New Zealand and, formerly, in England and Wales) a class or level of attainment in an elementary school


of the usual, regularized, medium, or accepted kinda standard size
of recognized authority, competence, or excellencethe standard work on Greece
denoting or characterized by idiom, vocabulary, etc, that is regarded as correct and acceptable by educated native speakersCompare nonstandard, informal
British (formerly) (of eggs) of a size that is smaller than large and larger than medium

Word Origin for standard

C12: from Old French estandart gathering place, flag to mark such a place, probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German stantan to stand, Old High German ort place
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 standard

mid-12c., "flag or other conspicuous object to serve as a rallying point for a military force," from Old French estandart, probably from Frankish *standhard, literally "stand fast or firm," a compound of words similar to Gothic standan "to stand" (see stand) and hardus "hard" (see hard). So called because the flag was fixed to a pole or spear and stuck in the ground to stand upright.

The other theory connects the Old French word to estendre "to stretch out," from Latin extendere (see extend). Meaning "unit of measure" is early 14c., from Anglo-French, where it was used 13c., and is perhaps metaphoric, the royal standard coming to stand for royal authority in matters like setting weights and measures. Hence the meaning "authoritative or recognized exemplar of quality or correctness" (late 15c.).

Meaning "rule, principal or means of judgment" is from 1560s. That of "definite level of attainment" is attested from 1711 (e.g. standard of living, 1903). Some senses (e.g. "upright pole," mid-15c.) seem to be influenced by stand (v.). Standard-bearer in the figurative sense is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

standard in Medicine




An acknowledged measure of comparison for quantitative or qualitative value; a criterion.
An object that under specified conditions defines, represents, or records the magnitude of a unit.


Serving as or conforming to a standard of measurement or value.
Widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.