Main definitions of yard in English

: yard1yard2

yard1

noun

  • 1A unit of linear measure equal to 3 feet (0.9144 metre):

    ‘a full skirt that took twenty yards of cloth’
    • ‘It has a 7,653 yard range and its warhead consists of a tandem-shaped charge to penetrate reactive armour.’
    • ‘I read with interest recently about plans to develop a golf course in Wales that will eventually measure over 8000 yards.’
    • ‘His second, nine minutes later, was a rasping left foot drive from twenty five yards which hit the stanchion as the Castleton keeper stood mesmerised.’
    • ‘On the half hour mark Brian Pendergast let fly with a right foot shot from twenty yards.’
    • ‘With fox hunting you have hoards of people following across country on foot, one way or another, for yards or miles.’
    • ‘One meter is equivalent to 1.09 yards and one inch is equivalent to 2.54 centimeters.’
    • ‘I still talk about acres, yards, feet and inches; not forgetting gallons and pints and also hundredweights pounds and ounces.’
    • ‘I headed the ball back inside and eventually the ball ended up at my feet 20 yards from goal and I just hit it.’
    • ‘In the imperial system, 36 inches are 1 yard and 1760 yards are 1 mile.’
    • ‘Weeks of learning 12 inches to one foot, three feet to a yard, 22 yards to a chain and however many chains to a mile - with rods, poles and perches somewhere in between.’
    • ‘He set world records for the 800 metres and 880 yards in the same race at Christchurch and the mile at Cooks Garden, Wanganui.’
    • ‘Vivian Foley crossed to Ger Foley and his twenty yards shot hit the crossbar but fell to the feet of Gary Doyle who scored the opening goal.’
    • ‘He could tell us the speed of the train and how many miles / yards / feet we had until the next state line or anywhere else.’
    • ‘The next three runnings were over one mile six furlongs and 12 yards.’
    • ‘Thirteen under par may have paled in comparison with the exploits of Tiger Woods and a number of others but it is still a decent score on a golf course measuring 7,246 yards.’
    • ‘The course measures 5,293 yards and was designed by Eddie Hackett.’
    • ‘An anti-metric activist yesterday appeared in court charged with stealing road signs which gave distances in metres rather than yards.’
    • ‘Start thinking in pounds, quarts, gallons, inches, yards and miles.’
    • ‘Many are anthropomorphic - the foot, the yard, the cubit, the span - and arise from the dimensions of parts of the human body.’
    • ‘How many inches equal a yard is not something subject to daily fluctuations on the free or any other market.’
    1. 1.1yards ofinformal A great length of something:
      ‘yards and yards of fine lace’
      • ‘At night, take a torch and you can get within yards of marsupials, including the faintly horrid Tasmanian devil.’
      • ‘There are dozens of scene switches, a multitude of props, yards of costume changes.’
      • ‘Outside, it is protected from the English winter weather by yards of bubble wrap and a child's umbrella.’
      • ‘An architect undertaking the construction of a temple or palace began with stacks of bricks, yards of timber, and legions of slaves.’
      • ‘Fisher insists, though, that his star performer brings more than just yards of hard-won advances down field.’
    2. 1.2 A square or cubic yard, especially of sand or other building materials.
      • ‘Sexton said 12,000 to 14,000 cubic yards of material would be placed on the track during the project.’
      • ‘Last summer, success built on success: 4,000 residents cleared out 11,000 cubic yards.’
      • ‘Barton Malow also placed 1700 cubic yards of SCC to cast a mat-slab for the building.’
      • ‘I paid for 25 cubic yards of concrete and a day's labor for eight concrete finishers, and we had a slab.’
      • ‘We can become so wrapped up in cubic yards of capacity and horsepower that we ignore those components of scrapers and graders.’
      • ‘The commercial paving contractor, however, is likely to charge by the square yard, based on a certain thickness of each material.’
      • ‘The rate of sludge generation in septic tanks is around 0.05 cubic yards every year for an individual.’
      • ‘GMA produces more than 1 million square yards of camouflage-patterned materials each year.’
      • ‘More than two dozen electric and steam locomotives along with hundreds of dump cars were required to remove about 37 million cubic yards of material.’
      • ‘The last of the material, about 100,000 cubic yards, will be delivered from the Big Dig by Dec.31.’
      • ‘It took 8,100 tons of steel, 44,100 cubic yards of concrete, and over 160 miles of cable.’
      • ‘First, Coleman enriched the existing soil with 6 cubic yards of planting mix.’
      • ‘It was constructed by the state in the 1930s and through the 1950s and '60s, hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sand were deposited there.’
      • ‘Many loose materials are sold by the cubic yard, including cement, dirt, sand, rock, landscaping bark, gravel and cinders.’
      • ‘A dam of its size would require pouring 4.4 million cubic yards of concrete: more wet cement than ever created before.’
      • ‘However, the capacity of today's trucks varies a great deal, and few of them can actually carry nine cubic yards of cement.’
      • ‘The combined weight of both backing and coating, measured in ounces per square yard of wallcovering.’
      • ‘On top of the trash, millions of cubic yards of fine white sand were pumped as a slurry from Rockaway Inlet.’
      • ‘The project required roughly 80,000 cubic yards of concrete and grout using 12 different mix designs.’
      • ‘Consider a facility executive purchasing 10,000 square yards of flooring who has narrowed the selection to two choices.’
  • 2A cylindrical spar, tapering to each end, slung across a ship's mast for a sail to hang from.

    • ‘The Captain motioned with his eyes and his head to the main mast top yard.’
    • ‘The argument is that a three-masted ship had three yards on each mast for the square sails, making nine in all.’
    • ‘To have the ship's company clearly visible on deck, or in the days of sail, aloft on the yards, meant that the guns were not manned.’
    • ‘Masts and yards continued to be installed for decades, becoming increasingly vestigial, but the die was cast.’
    • ‘Her captain was at the top yard of the main mast, glass to eye.’
    • ‘About 170 lines control the sails and yards, so every member of the crew must be familiar with these operations and functions.’
    • ‘They could see Bowles and they waited, bracing themselves against the yard should the two ships collide.’
    • ‘The ship also carried standing skysail pales and yards, a half poop, and had as her figurehead a toothy dragon's head.’
    • ‘He moves one of the sails so that the yard catches Will and swings him out over the sea. Now, as long as you're just hanging there, pay attention.’
    • ‘They stood in the foot ropes of the main mast topsail yard.’
  • 3US informal 100 dollars; a 100 dollar bill:

    ‘it cost two hundred up front—one yard for Maurice, one for the girl’

Phrases

  • by the yard

    • In large numbers or quantities:

      ‘golf continues to inspire books by the yard’
      • ‘Those who do not read, or worse yet that tribe of heretics who purchase books by the yard as decorating tools, don't understand that one does not always go to a library to read or to conduct research.’
      • ‘When I asked about the flag material, I was told that shops were selling it by the yard after 9 / 11.’
      • ‘Parthus has got techno-babble buzzwords by the yard.’
      • ‘Shakespeare has left us a satiric portrait of the poet who writes verses by the yard to please a patron in Timon of Athens.’
      • ‘The entertainment mode is drunken, end-of-university-term party, hard flesh ripples by the yard and it's high-fives and carb-balanced designer water.’
      • ‘The Russell family have evidently spent a couple of dozen generations rapaciously buying pictures by the yard.’
      • ‘And political rope has been played out by the yard in the Irish peace process that was meant to bolster trust and truth but which displayed instead the most convenient arrangement of alternatives.’
      • ‘Despite the disdain for tartan shown by the SNP, Scots are buying kilts by - well, by the yard.’
      • ‘Like many people my age I've got lots of CDs, and I've still got vinyl by the yard.’
      • ‘You can buy aquamarine images by the yard in quayside galleries in St Ives, Penzance, Mevagissey or Falmouth.’
      • ‘Since he was so incredibly prolific, cranking out the copy by the yard, he could hardly help committing the odd slip-up here and there.’
      • ‘(The hackademic machine is now happily turning out Deleuze wallpaper by the yard of course).’
      • ‘These are the people who buy their art by the yard, and tend to like good old landscapes, boats and sporting subjects.’

Origin

Old English gerd (in yard), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch gard twig, rod and German Gerte.

Pronunciation:

yard

/jɑːd/

Main definitions of yard in English

: yard1yard2

yard2

noun

  • 1British A piece of uncultivated ground adjoining a building, typically one enclosed by walls or other buildings:

    ‘tiny houses with the lavatory in the yard’
    • ‘Next to the small psychiatric hospital, with its yard enclosed by a high wire fence, was the leper colony.’
    • ‘To this I cou'd not submit to secure the barrack I offered to erect four large sheds and finished one - together with some paling to enclose a yard.’
    • ‘Workers may also assemble in a yard on the company grounds to engage in group exercises at the start of the day.’
    • ‘We get a lot of youngsters at the back of our house jumping over the wall near our yard and a bottle was smashed near our back gate in the middle of the night.’
    • ‘The result is a very attractive building which is now the centre piece of the yard.’
    • ‘She saw Avery in the prison yard hanging from the shackles on his wrists.’
    • ‘Mr Hayton, who is in his 40s, found the thief rifling through the purse in an enclosed yard but the man drew a cutthroat razor and advanced, waving the blade from side to side.’
    • ‘They took their food and went to sit on the low wall that enclosed the yard.’
    • ‘When I wanted to, I could sit nude, as the entire yard was enclosed by a tall cement block fence that had been painted pink.’
    • ‘Several Hampshire rams had been seen during the present week, however, sleeping and cropping the grass in the yard adjoining a well-known York church.’
    • ‘Patrons could apparently stand in the yard around the stage and either stand or sit in the galleries which enclosed the yard.’
    • ‘The village square is dominated by a pristine, thatched church enclosed within a walled yard.’
    • ‘There was a yard enclosed by a high brick wall at one end of the place.’
    • ‘The house is a huge damp building that would be demolished at home, and has plain white mildew-covered walls. The playground is a dust yard with a rusting swing set which the kids love.’
    • ‘Mr Hewitt said one important piece of advice was for people to watch out for any strangers hanging about stables or yards.’
    1. 1.1North American The garden of a house.
      • ‘Kim and her family moved to this house in 1991, and Kim immediately began to renovate the neglected yard.’
      • ‘We have the occasional sighting of a bluejay or a cardinal, but that doesn't make up for the lower class of birds who hang out in my yard.’
      • ‘You'd get to know them, and pretty soon we were just like anybody else hanging out in the yard.’
      • ‘So, you have decided to plant rose bushes in your yard or on your patio, porch or balcony.’
      • ‘These signs grace the three nearest places I can get food, as well as the nearest computer store, and the yards of three of my nearby neighbors.’
      • ‘She scuttled over the window and ran out the yard sailing over the chain link fence and jumping into the car as it drove away.’
      • ‘Since it's my tree, can I trim the branches even though they hang over onto his yard?’
      • ‘You may even find some that prove more useful in the yard and garden than in your kitchen.’
      • ‘Everyone else was going to take down the giant sunflowers and dead tomato plants in my garden and get the yard ready for winter.’
      • ‘If you've got a problem with mosquitoes, you can also place a few citronella candles around the yard or patio.’
      • ‘Well, you see, though Thomas needed the money and was willing to work for it, his work in her yard and gardens were terrible.’
      • ‘Maybe it's the neighbor to the south who has the beautiful yard with the beautiful garden with the perfect fountain and the elegant rock formation.’
      • ‘While most of us are preparing our yards and gardens for the cooler weather, many in the warmer regions are still enjoying the fruits of their labor.’
      • ‘A malnourished kitten has been hanging around my yard and alley lately.’
      • ‘I want to start a vinyard, and an organic garden in my yard, because I've got a couple of acres…’
      • ‘Or brick can form a subtle, natural path through your yard, linking patio and gardens.’
      • ‘I used a large tree in my yard as the main brace, and worked around that.’
      • ‘Most of us consider our yards and gardens an extension of our homes, and we look for sanctuary and privacy there.’
      • ‘Our neighbors had a guava tree with branches that hung over into our yard.’
      • ‘His house was large, though not overly so, and beautiful, the lawn perfectly manicured and flowers growing in perfect little gardens in the yard.’
      • ‘I thought I wouldn't care so much, but I'd like to garden and have a yard just to stand in the grass.’
      backyard, garden
      View synonyms
  • 2An area of land used for a particular purpose or business:

    ‘a builder's yard’
    • ‘You can substitute materials lying around your yard.’
    • ‘Montague says they are doing everything they can do to control the beetles, and that includes implementing preventative measures at the mill yard.’
    • ‘It's a suburb choked with car yards and petrol stations, but everything was either closed or cap-less.’
    • ‘Five or six trips to the dump yard on the far lands and I stopped for something to eat.’
    • ‘But, unknown to her owner, for the past three weeks Tiny has been wandering into the yard at Clacton police station looking for food and attention.’
    • ‘Young arsonists were today blamed for a blaze which ripped through a caravan, nearly destroying a storage yard.’
    • ‘Their recreation area is a yard, measuring 45 feet by 20, with a steel mesh covering on top.’
    • ‘These traders require access to their stores and yards to run their businesses.’
    • ‘It is understood that a considerable amount of waste material lies under the yard at the site, pictured above.’
    • ‘As well, Greenpeace and the ITF are jointly campaigning against the pollution and exploitation at the world's ship wrecking yards.’
    • ‘Prosecuting counsel Amy Nicholson told the court that on January 23 the police searched the yard of a business run by Murphy and Sanderson.’
    • ‘Just north of the Metrorail transfer station we passed Amtrak's yards and Miami area station on the left.’
    • ‘Twenty interns in six unions worked on campaigns including in call centres, furniture factories, transport yards, hospitals and hotels.’
    • ‘He had previously used the yard for the purposes of an ambulance business which had ceased to trade in about 1995.’
    • ‘The gang loaded the bikes which all had keys in the ignition on to a trailer belonging to garage owner Rhett Fisher, who leases part of his yard to the business.’
    • ‘I went by a yacht yard beside the highway every day and one day stopped in and began admiring a Compac yacht.’
    • ‘You'd ride over a rise and into a storage yard full of pipe and conduit.’
    • ‘The area which used to be the service yard for Tesco would be transformed into a riverside arena, resembling an amphitheatre.’
    • ‘Provision of adequate storage yards at metro stations.’
    • ‘Sixty new buildings and skyscrapers costing over $700 million shot up on former rail yards and warehouse areas.’
    • ‘My father has a little family business, a scrap-metal business with a yard and lorry.’
    • ‘Sister ship HMS Enterprise is currently undergoing construction at the same yard, and is due to enter service next year.’
    • ‘There have been six major fires at fridge storage yards in the region - the latest in October at the yard in Stock Lane, Chadderton.’
    • ‘That option is likely to suit businesses such as Benchmark which require large storage yards.’
    workshop, works, factory, garage, plant, foundry, mill, industrial unit, business unit
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1the YardBritish
      informal term for Scotland Yard
  • 3West Indian A house and the land attached.

    • ‘Sulchan reportedly opened the door without anyone knowing and ran out behind her father as he was reversing into the yard of their Freeport home.’
    • ‘Oscar knowing that he has sufficiently punished Black dog for the insult of biting Lady, simply strutted back home and into the yard to lick his paw and shoulder.’
    • ‘To enter where he is, one must pass several shrines and offerings all about the yard of his home.’
    • ‘I was walking around the yard of the house where Natty, MBJr. and I are living and I happened to glance over the fence.’
    • ‘Second time was because Alvin, the fellow who comes twice a week to do odd jobs around the house and the yard, chopped his index finger with the cutlass!’
    1. 3.1 An urban residential compound comprising a number of small rented dwellings around a shared open area.
      • ‘There are 14 small shacks and brick houses opening on to the yard, sharing a central tap and stone basin.’
      • ‘She washes - humiliatingly, since she is a modest and dignified woman - at a stand-pipe in the yard shared with her neighbours.’
      • ‘Dai people build their wooden housing compound in a yard.’
      • ‘For a while I also shared a yard with a British chap named Roy who worked as a foreman on the project.’
    2. 3.2South African A plot of land, or the grounds of a building, accommodating a number of small rooms let out as living space.
      • ‘Additional separate rooms, called backyard shacks, occupy most of the space in most yards, to form ‘town houses’.’
      • ‘The yard and the room that he rented are being developed into what will be known as the Mandela Yard Interpretation Centre.’
      • ‘Salphina Mulaudzi, the ward councillor for the area, estimates that an average yard accommodates about 10 sub-tenants.’
      • ‘The yard and room are now to be transformed into a tourist site, to be called the Mandela Yard Interpretation Centre.’
  • 4(especially among expatriate Jamaicans) home; Jamaica:

    ‘life in Yard is no Caribbean holiday’
    • ‘Bob born and grow a Yard, and thats where his body should rest, you simi?’
    • ‘I have had chinese food at a number of places, including New York, Philly, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and probably a few more places that I don't remember, and nowhere else has it tasted as irie as it does back a Yard.’
    • ‘Bwoy, I wish the Commish and his British second every success, but I also read that the British dude, along with plenty other police, had to run for their lives recently when they were touring a rough neighbourhood back a Yard!’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1North American Store or transport (wood) in or to a timber yard:

    ‘he is the last logger to be using a sled for yarding logs’
    ‘Canadian operators never practised yarding on a wider scale’
    • ‘The paper company initially attempted to introduce a capital-intensive cable yarding logging system near Atepec in 1958, but the community opposed this system, which relied upon outside labor to manage the machinery.’
    • ‘On this site, they tackle the block in smaller segments completing some falling and then yarding that wood before moving on.’
    • ‘Such overhead logging methods were paired with cable yarding systems that dragged the logs to their loading sites.’
  • 2Put (farm animals) into an enclosure:

    ‘sheep should be yarded even in the spring’
    • ‘Much like their forefathers, they yard the cattle with ease and grace, born to the country that surrounds them.’
    • ‘They both helped in yarding the sheep, sweeping out the woolshed during shearing (Judy became a proficient shearer), taking morning and afternoon tea to the shearers, and helping drive mobs.’
    • ‘We were trying to yard cattle and you don't get on foot for that.’
    • ‘In December 1879 great indignation was felt by all about the brutal assault against Mr Best because he had yarded some trespassing cattle and would not let them go before the owners had paid for the damages.’
  • 3North American [no object] (of moose) gather as a herd for the winter:

    ‘they note changes in the numbers of moose yarding together’
    • ‘When snow is deep and moose ''yard'' together, they are more accessible in greater numbers to wolves.’
    • ‘Although they yard together in spring, during most of the year, moose are solitary secretive animals and very wary of mankind.’

Origin

Old English geard ‘building, home, region’, from a Germanic base related to Russian gorod town. Compare with garden and orchard.

Pronunciation:

yard

/jɑːd/