AskDefine | Define yardstick

The Collaborative Dictionary

Yardstick \Yard"stick`\ (y[aum]rd"st[i^]k`), n. A stick three feet, or a yard, in length, used as a measure of distance, cloth, etc. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 a measure or standard used for comparison; "on what kind of yardstick is he basing his judgment?"
2 a ruler or tape that is three feet long [syn: yard measure]



  1. A measuring rod thirty-six inches long.
  2. A standard to which other measurements or comparisons are judged.
    • 2008 April 8, Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt, “Attacks in Baghdad spiked in March, U.S. data show”, in International Herald Tribune, 2008 April 8 edition, “Africa & Middle East” section,
      Attacks against civilians in the capital remained relatively unchanged: 69 in March from 62 in February. ¶ However, another yardstick, the number of civilian deaths tracked by the Iraqi government, shot up last month after several months of decline.

Derived terms


measuring rod thirty-six inches long
standard to which other measurements or comparisons are judged
A yardstick is a tool used to physically measure lengths of up to a yard (0.9144 metres or three feet).
Most yardsticks are flat wooden boards with markings at regular intervals.
In countries in which the metric system was adopted to replace the Imperial system (such as Canada), yardsticks bearing imperial units markings on one side (three feet with inch and fractional inch) and metric units on the other (one meter with centimeter and millimeter) are common, and are sometimes referred to as "metre-sticks".
Yardsticks may be used as pointing devices for posters and projections.
The term "yardstick" is also used metaphorically in reference to anything which serves as a test or standard of measurement, comparison or judgment (also see benchmark and litmus test).
yardstick in German: Yardstick
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1