Definition of standard in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstandəd/


1A level of quality or attainment: their restaurant offers a high standard of service the government’s ambition to raise standards in schools
More example sentences
  • The watchdog criticised low standards, poor quality teaching and ineffective management.
  • Staff at Orkney Islands Council's social work department will be rewarded for their efforts in helping to raise standards and improve the quality of service.
  • Concerns were raised about falling quality standards.
quality, level, grade, degree, worth, calibre, merit, excellence
1.1A required or agreed level of quality or attainment: half of the beaches fail to comply with European standards [mass noun]: their tap water was not up to standard
More example sentences
  • Another feature of this bill is the implicit incentive to maintain a required level of safety standards.
  • These goggles meet the applicable safety standards and requirements.
  • All areas of learning were marked good quality and met the standards required.
guideline, norm, yardstick, benchmark, gauge, measure, criterion, guide, touchstone, model, pattern, example, exemplar, paradigm, ideal, archetype, specification, requirement, rule, principle, law, canon
1.2British historical (In elementary schools) a grade of proficiency tested by examination or the form or class preparing pupils for such a grade: she was still in boarding school and had twice repeated the same standard
More example sentences
  • We are not children to be promoted from standard to standard until we pass our graduation either in Arts or Law.
  • All seven of the top Standard Nine students at Crestway chose to repeat the standard in 1986.
2Something used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations: the wages are low by today’s standards the system had become an industry standard
More example sentences
  • Compared to world standards, our Indian norms are quite strict.
  • If it was measured by today's standards, it would qualify as a great fight.
  • It manages to be both an industry standard, and a daring departure from the norm.
2.1 (standards) Principles of conduct informed by notions of honour and decency: a decline in moral standards
More example sentences
  • It has been a bad week for those of us who believe that people in positions of power and influence are governed by the same standards of decency and integrity with which we conduct our own lives.
  • Society is creating an underclass without standards, principles or decency, but nobody seems to recognise this, let alone be doing anything about it.
  • Victory implies doing what is right; doing what is right implies morality; morality implies standards of conduct.
principle, rule of living;
(standards) code of behaviour, code of honour, morals, scruples, ethics, ideals
2.2The prescribed weight of fine metal in gold or silver coins: the sterling standard for silver
More example sentences
  • One of the company's most important functions, then as now, is marking gold and silver to a certain standard.
  • The jewellers in the recent past had started advertising the purity standards of the gold they use in their jewellery.
2.3A system by which the value of a currency is defined in terms of gold or silver or both.
Example sentences
  • The world is moving toward a system that regards gold as the standard of all economic value.
  • For a time during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries gold provided a universal standard of value.
  • Gold and silver vessels served in effect as large denomination banknotes, and weighed round figures in terms of the prevailing currency standards.
2.4A measure for timber, equivalent to 165 cu. ft (4.67 cubic metres).
Example sentences
  • The vessel contained about 1000 standards... A standard was 165 cubic feet of timber.
3(Especially with reference to jazz or blues) a tune or song of established popularity.
Example sentences
  • A lot of songs go country-western; others take on the form of jazz standards and bossa nova pop.
  • Naylor likes to sing a jazz standard over a rock instrumental, or vice versa.
  • Renditions of blues standards are played in a late '60s style of rock.
4A military or ceremonial flag carried on a pole or hoisted on a rope.
Example sentences
  • Sir Marcus Worsley gave a tribute to the Queen Mother and members of the Malton and Norton branch of the Royal British Legion carried a standard.
  • A single-headed eagle, grasping a swastika, was carried on German flags and standards between 1933 and 1945.
  • Led by a military band and with standards flying, they march onto the town square.
flag, banner, pennant, pennon, streamer, ensign, colour(s), banderole;
British  pendant;
Nautical  burgee;
in ancient Rome vexillum
rare gonfalon, guidon, labarum
4.1Used in names of newspapers: a report in the Evening Standard
More example sentences
  • One morning, Peter Mandelson rang me at the Evening Standard.
  • The Evening Standard's Editor is Veronica Wadley.
  • Here's what the Standard said, and the Independent.
5A tree or shrub that grows on an erect stem of full height.
Example sentences
  • Of the soft fruits, gooseberries and redcurrants can be left as a bush or grown as a standard.
5.1A shrub grafted on an erect stem and trained in tree form: [as modifier]: a standard rose
More example sentences
  • She trains this fast-growing shrub as a standard, sending the blooms up rather than out.
  • Pineapple Beauty, which has yellow-green leaves that turn gold, is one of the taller varieties and can be trained as a standard.
  • On Talkback Gardening, local rose expert, Dean Stringer, explained the finer points of pruning a bush rose and a standard.
5.2 Botany The large, frequently erect uppermost petal of a papilionaceous flower. Also called vexillum.
Example sentences
  • Lathyrus hirsutus..Flowers in.; standard crimson
  • Papilionaceous describes a corolla having a standard, wings, and keel, as in the peculiar corolla of many Leguminosae.
5.3 Botany One of the inner petals of an iris flower, frequently erect.
Example sentences
  • Rather than 3 standards, falls, etc, Iris with this factor have 4 standards, 4, beards, 4 falls, and 4 stylearms.
  • The 3 upright petals are called standards; the 3 that hang down are called falls.
6An upright water or gas pipe.
Example sentences
  • This paradise, five miles from the standard at Cornhill.


1Used or accepted as normal or average: the standard rate of income tax it is standard practice in museums to register objects as they are acquired
More example sentences
  • While still common in rural areas of Korea, these customs are no longer standard practice in cities.
  • It is not standard practice in an ordinary domestic context to warn a person of his impending arrest.
  • Such is the imbalance that a couple both earning the average wage in Edinburgh would no longer be able to secure a standard mortgage for an average house
normal, usual, typical, stock, common, ordinary, customary, conventional, habitual, accustomed, expected, wonted, everyday, regular, routine, day-to-day, daily, established, settled, set, fixed, traditional, quotidian, prevailing
1.1(Of a size, measure, design, etc.) regularly used or produced; not special or exceptional: all these doors come in a range of standard sizes
More example sentences
  • They can be ordered in standard sizes or custom designed to fit any application.
  • Also included are new collections of art and design work published in standard sizes.
  • Batts are available in standard widths designed to match the cavities created by wall studs.
1.2(Of a work, repertoire, or writer) viewed as authoritative or of permanent value and so widely read or performed: his essays on the interpretation of reality became a standard text
More example sentences
  • Abraham's work is almost all related to Maxwell's theory and he wrote a text which was the standard work on electrodynamics in Germany for a long time.
  • It's in the standard repertoire of rhetorical performance in English.
  • He was instrumental in defining the European musical canon, what we now think of as the standard repertoire, which he had most of by heart.
definitive, established, classic, recognized, approved, accepted, authoritative, most reliable, most complete, exhaustive, official
1.3Denoting or relating to the form of a language widely accepted as the usual correct form: speakers of standard English
More example sentences
  • In the last two decades, there has been a thoroughgoing reconsideration of the idea of a standard language or dialect or variety.
  • Radio and television impose the Cairo-spoken language as the standard dialect of Egypt.
  • The emergence of standard languages, as well as literary forms, is intimately connected with socio-political context.
2 [attributive] (Of a tree or shrub) growing on an erect stem of full height: standard trees are useful for situations where immediate height is needed
More example sentences
  • Pears can be grown as standard trees or as fan-trained specimens against a sunny wall.
  • A standard apple tree usually takes two years to start fruiting and four years to reach full production.
  • So you can have patio roses; you can have very small standard apple trees that you can grow on your terrace if you've not much space.
2.1(Of a shrub) grafted on an erect stem and trained in tree form: standard roses
More example sentences
  • If space in your yard is at a premium, the bushes can be trained to a standard form that can be tucked into virtually any garden area.
  • They are hardier than standard roses and easy to grow, and they flower over a long period in a painter's palate of colors.
  • Certain types of standard roses or pillars require special techniques.


raise one's (or the) standard

Take up arms; oppose: he is the only one who has dared raise his standard against her
More example sentences
  • James Edward never returned, but his younger son Charles Edward landed in Scotland in July 1745 to raise his standard again.
  • When Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham and declared war on his people, the question of his judgement and of his trustworthiness was one which divided the nation.
  • The castle remained a royal stronghold, and it was at Nottingham that Charles I raised his standard in 1642.



any natural law theory standardly requires a form of rational justification
More example sentences
  • Philosophical thinking in children can hardly be seen as primitive or early-stage efforts to develop a capacity that adults normally and standardly have in a mature form.
  • It probably is only an historical accident that we standardly speak of ‘normative ethics’ but not of ‘normative epistemology’.
  • Apparently, reviews of Ms. Vida's work standardly mention that she's married to Dave Eggers well before anything actually pertaining to the work itself.


Middle English (denoting a flag raised on a pole as a rallying point, the authorized exemplar of a unit of measurement, or an upright timber): shortening of Old French estendart, from estendre 'extend'; in sense 4 of the noun, sense 5 of the noun, sense 6 of the noun, influenced by the verb stand.

  • A standard, from Old French estendre ‘to extend’, was originally a flag raised on a pole as a rallying point for soldiers, and typically carrying the distinctive badge of a leader, nation, or city. The word appears first in English with reference to the Battle of the Standard in 1138, between the English and the Scots. The ‘standard’ in question was apparently the mast of a ship with flags at the top, mounted on a wagon brought on to the battlefield. In later use the idea of the royal flag or ‘standard’ came to represent a source of authority, the centre from which commands are issued. This led to its modern use in connection with the setting of a fixed scale of weights and measures, and indeed of any established level of quality or quantity.

Words that rhyme with standard


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: stand|ard

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