Definition of yardstick in English:



  • 1A measuring rod a yard long, typically divided into inches.

    • ‘Hold for one second, record your measurement on the yardstick, sit back up and repeat twice more.’
    • ‘You'll need a yardstick, masking tape, and a partner for this test.’
    • ‘It won't happen in a Sauber, of course, but at least the team have a perfect yardstick with which to measure their car.’
    • ‘After tamping a few square feet, use a yardstick or a ruler to measure the tamped depth.’
    • ‘Walking the grass with a yardstick, she said, he measured for infractions.’
    • ‘Next, using the yardstick as a guide, pencil as many straight lines as you need for your quote.’
    • ‘Then use that as the yardstick to measure the entire piece and make the tough cuts that may need to be made.’
    • ‘Use a yardstick or steel tape measure, never a cloth tape measure.’
    • ‘Tape measures may stretch, yardsticks may chip and rotary cutting mats may warp.’
    • ‘Measure the size of the glass with a yardstick or folding rule.’
    system, standard, units, scale
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    1. 1.1 A standard used for comparison.
      ‘league tables are not the only yardstick of schools' performance’
      • ‘Wilson and Jungner's criteria are a yardstick against which a screening programme can be judged.’
      • ‘They may be regarded as convenient yardsticks.’
      • ‘They are the perfect twoseome, whose relationship is looked upon as solid and ideal, a yardstick if you will for others to measure up to, an unshakeable bond.’
      • ‘Diversity is still measured by the yardstick developed by Russian scientist N I Vavilov half a century ago.’
      • ‘It is only at the end-point that, for want of a better yardstick, a probabilistic test is applied.’
      • ‘She grew up in bohemian SoHo, the eldest of three children, and regularly cites her mother's little sayings as yardsticks by which she measures her unusual life.’
      • ‘It is too easy to condemn the past by using as a yardstick the standards of modern western democracies.’
      • ‘Aid as a share of GDP is the yardstick that is typically used for international comparisons.’
      • ‘Spinoza is also right in his belief that truth is, in the end, our only yardstick, and that to live by any other standard is to be the victim of circumstance.’
      • ‘Another yardstick by which to measure last night's debate was everything each candidate said entirely accurate.’
      • ‘Lord Chesham, chairman of the RAC, said: ‘Never have so many statistics been compared with so many variable yardsticks.’’
      • ‘Duration of combat and numbers of casualties aren't yardsticks for measuring victory or failure.’
      • ‘Starr offers a yardstick and a set of principles for evaluating our media and the political choices we make about those media.’
      • ‘It could be overturned by Parliament, but at least parliament would have a yardstick to measure itself by.’
      • ‘Its implication is that the only yardstick to measure commitment to community and industry is capital investment.’
      • ‘Progress towards democracy and towards freedom of press are the standard Western yardsticks to judge how China is developing politically.’
      • ‘By this period, however, it had come to be recognised as a classic of the new genre, and a yardstick against which to compare subsequent product.’
      • ‘It should be able to establish yardsticks by which to measure the quality and accountability of public services as well as a monitoring mechanism.’
      • ‘This is a useful yardstick when comparing highly indebted companies in a particular industry with lowly indebted ones.’
      • ‘So you'll know then not to use your own excruciatingly exacting standards as a yardstick for judging others this week, won't you?’
      • ‘Equality requires a common yardstick, or measure of judgement, not a plurality of meanings.’
      • ‘Return on all assets or on all capital investment is not the only yardstick available in measuring the performance of a business.’
      standard, measure, gauge, scale, guide, guideline, indicator, test, touchstone, barometer, specification, criterion, norm, average, benchmark, point of reference, model, pattern, rule, principle, paradigm, convention, ideal
      View synonyms