I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French estandard banner, standard, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English standan to stand and probably to Old High German hart hard Date: 12th century 1. a conspicuous object (as a banner) formerly carried at the top of a pole and used to mark a rallying point especially in battle or to serve as an emblem 2. a. a long narrow tapering flag that is personal to an individual or corporation and bears heraldic devices b. the personal flag of the head of a state or of a member of a royal family c. an organization flag carried by a mounted or motorized military unit d. banner 1 3. something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example ; criterion <
quite slow by today's standards
4. something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality 5. a. the fineness and legally fixed weight of the metal used in coins b. the basis of value in a monetary system <
the gold standard
6. a structure built for or serving as a base or support 7. a. a shrub or herb grown with an erect main stem so that it forms or resembles a tree b. a fruit tree grafted on a stock that does not induce dwarfing 8. a. the large odd upper petal of a papilionaceous flower (as of the pea) b. one of the three inner usually erect and incurved petals of an iris 9. a musical composition (as a song) that has become a part of the standard repertoire • standardless adjective Synonyms: standard, criterion, gauge, yardstick, touchstone mean a means of determining what a thing should be. standard applies to any definite rule, principle, or measure established by authority <
standards of behavior
. criterion may apply to anything used as a test of quality whether formulated as a rule or principle or not <
questioned the critic's criteria for excellence
. gauge applies to a means of testing a particular dimension (as thickness, depth, diameter) or figuratively a particular quality or aspect <
polls as a gauge of voter dissatisfaction
. yardstick is an informal substitute for criterion that suggests quantity more often than quality <
housing construction as a yardstick of economic growth
. touchstone suggests a simple test of the authenticity or value of something intangible <
fine service is one touchstone of a first-class restaurant
. II. adjective Date: 1567 1. a. constituting or conforming to a standard especially as established by law or custom <
standard weight
b. sound and usable but not of top quality <
standard beef
2. a. regularly and widely used, available, or supplied <
standard automobile equipment
b. well-established and very familiar <
the standard opera
3. having recognized and permanent value <
a standard reference work
4. substantially uniform and well established by usage in the speech and writing of the educated and widely recognized as acceptable <
standard pronunciation is subject to regional variations
standardly adverb

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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