American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A fundamental unit of length in both the U.S. Customary System and the British Imperial System, equal to 3 feet, or 36 inches (0.9144 meter). See Table at measurement.
- n. Nautical A long tapering spar slung to a mast to support and spread the head of a square sail, lugsail, or lateen.
- n. A tract of ground next to, surrounding, or surrounded by a building or buildings.
- n. A tract of ground, often enclosed, used for a specific business or activity.
- n. An area where railroad trains are made up and cars are switched, stored, and serviced on tracks and sidings.
- n. A winter pasture for deer or other grazing animals.
- n. An enclosed tract of ground in which animals, such as chickens or pigs, are kept.
- v. To enclose, collect, or put into or as if into a yard.
- v. To be gathered into or as if into a yard.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A rod; a stick; a wand; a branch or twig.
- n. Rule; direction; correction.
- n. A measuring-rod or -stick of the exact length of 3 feet or 36 imperial inches; a yardstick.
- n. The fundamental unit of English long measure. The prototype of the British imperial yard (to which the United States Office of Weights and Measures conforms, though without express authority) was legalized in 1855. It is a bar made of a kind of bronze or gun-metal known as Baily's metal. It has a square section of 1 inch on the sides, and is 38 inches long. But at 1 inch from each end a well is drilled into one of its surfaces so that the bottom is in the central plane of the bar, and into the bottom of the well is sunk a gold plug, upon whose mat surface is engraved one of the two defining lines. The yard is defined as the distance between these lines at 62° F., with the understanding that the bar is to be supported in a particular manner, and that the thermometers are to be constructed according to certain rules. The lines are designed to be looked at with the microscopes of a comparator; but they are not so free from blur that their middles can be determined more nearly than to a millionth part of the distance between them. This standard was made after the practical destruction of the previous legal prototype, that of 1760, in the burning of the Houses of Parliament, October 16th, 1834, and was legalized as a new prototype because its length agreed with what had been recognized in 1819 by the Standards Commission as the scientific standard yard—namely, with a certain scale, or rather with Captain Kater's measures of that scale, known as Shuckburgh's scale, having been made in 1794 by Troughton for Sir George Shuckburgh, who in his comparisons of it first introduced the comparator with micrometer microscopes. This scale was a copy of another which had been made for the Royal Society in 1742, from which the standard of 1760 was copied. This was a bar having upon one side two gold studs, each with a dot pricked upon it; and it was used by bringing the points of a beam-compass into these dots, which had thus soon become badly worn. Older standards still extant are those of Queen Elizabeth and of Henry VII. The latter is shorter than the present yard by one thousandth part of its length, or about
of an inch. It is said that the yard was made to be of the length of Henry I.'s arm—doubtless a fable, even if believed by that monarch himself. Customary units are not changed so easily. Yet it is true that there appear to be no traces in the measures of buildings earlier than the twelfth century of the use of a yard equal to ours, nor of its subdivisions; while in the later Norman and Gothic structures a foot equal to the third of our yard has often clearly been used. But the Gothic architects of England more usually employed a foot of 13¼ modern inches, a unit probably derived from France; and the oldest works show a foot of 12½ modern inches, no doubt the old Saxon foot, agreeing very nearly with the Rhineland foot of modern Germany. Some British remains, as Stonehenge, were evidently constructed with Roman measures. The Standards Commission of 1819 reported that 37 inches of cloth were frequently given for each yard, which is almost precisely Rhenish measure. They also found local yards of 38 and 40 inches. As a cloth measure, the yard is divided into 4 quarters = 16 nails. (See cloth-measure, under measure.) A square yard contains 9 square feet, and a cubic yard 27 cubic feet. Contracted yd.
- n. Nautical, a long cylindrical spar having a rounded taper toward each end, slung crosswise to a mast and used for suspending certain of the sails called either square or lateen sails according as the yard is suspended at right angles or obliquely. Yards have sheave-holes near their extremities for the sheets reeving through. Either end of a yard, or rather that part of it which is outside the sheave-hole, is called the yard-arm; the quarter of a yard is about half-way between the sheave-hole and the slings. Going upward from the deck, the yards are known as the lower yards, topsail-, topgallant-, and royal-yards, except where double topsails are used, when the topsail-yard is replaced by the lower and upper topsail-yards. Lower yards and topsail-yards are sometimes made of iron, and hollow. See cuts at abox, a-cockbill, cockscomb, and ship.
- n. A long piece of timber, as a rafter.
- n. In heraldry, a bearing representing a staff or wand divided into equal parts, as if for a measure.
- n. The virile member; the penis.
- n. Hence— A pint of ale, beer, or wine served in a yard-glass, and usually drunk for amusement or on a wager, on account of the likelihood of spilling or choking. Compare ale-yard.
- To summon for hiring: a process formerly used in the Isle of Man, and executed by the coroner of the sheading or district on behalf of the deemsters and others entitled to a priority of choice of the servants at a fair or market.
- n. A piece of inclosed ground of small or moderate size; particularly, a piece of ground inclosing or adjoining a house or other building, or inclosed by it: as, a front yard; a court-yard; a dooryard; a churchyard; an inn-yard; a barn-yard; a vineyard.
- n. An inclosure within which any work or business is carried on: as, a brick-yard; a wood-yard; a tan-yard; a dock-yard; a stock-yard; a navy-yard.
- n. In railway usage, the space or tract adjacent to a railway station or terminus, which is used for the switching or making up of trains, the accommodation of rolling-stock, and similar purposes. It includes all sidings and roundhouses, etc., and, at way-stations, extends from the most distant switch or signal-post in one direction of the line to the most distant signals in the opposite direction.
- n. A garden; now, chiefly, a kitchen- or cottage-garden: as, a kale-yard.
- n. The winter pasture or browsing-ground of moose and deer; a moose-yard.
- n. A measure of land in England, varying locally: in Buckinghamshire, formerly, 28 to 40 acres; in Wiltshire, a quarter of an acre. Compare yard-land.
- To put into or inclose in a yard; shut up in a yard, as cattle: as, to yard cows.
- To resort to winter pastures: said of moose and deer.
- To shoot deer in their winter yards.
- n. A small, usually uncultivated area adjoining or (now especially) within the precincts of a house or other building (Wikipedia).
- n. An enclosed area designated for a specific purpose, e.g. on farms, railways etc.
- n. Jamaica One’s house or home.
- v. transitive To confine to a yard.
- n. nautical A long tapered timber hung on a mast to which is bent a sail, and may be further qualified as a square, lateen, or lug yard. The first is hung at right angles to the mast, the latter two hang obliquely.
- n. nautical Any spar carried aloft (Wikipedia).
- n. A staff, rod or stick.
- n. A unit of length equal to three feet (exactly 0.9144 metres in the US and UK; Wikipedia).
- n. US, slang One-hundred dollars.
- n. obsolete The penis.
- n. finance 109, A short scale billion; a long scale thousand millions or milliard.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete A rod; a stick; a staff.
- n. obsolete A branch; a twig.
- n. obsolete A long piece of timber, as a rafter, etc.
- n. A measure of length, equaling three feet, or thirty-six inches, being the standard of English and American measure.
- n. The penis.
- n. (Naut.) A long piece of timber, nearly cylindrical, tapering toward the ends, and designed to support and extend a square sail. A yard is usually hung by the center to the mast. See
- n. (Zoöl.) A place where moose or deer herd together in winter for pasture, protection, etc.
- n. An inclosure; usually, a small inclosed place in front of, or around, a house or barn
- n. An inclosure within which any work or business is carried on
- v. To confine (cattle) to the yard; to shut up, or keep, in a yard.
- n. a unit of volume (as for sand or gravel)
- n. a tract of land where logs are accumulated
- n. a unit of length equal to 3 feet; defined as 91.44 centimeters; originally taken to be the average length of a stride
- n. a long horizontal spar tapered at the end and used to support and spread a square sail or lateen
- n. the enclosed land around a house or other building
- n. a tract of land enclosed for particular activities (sometimes paved and usually associated with buildings)
- n. an enclosure for animals (as chicken or livestock)
- n. the cardinal number that is the product of 10 and 100
- n. an area having a network of railway tracks and sidings for storage and maintenance of cars and engines
- Corruption of French milliard. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English yerde, stick, unit of measure, from Old English gerd.Middle English, from Old English geard. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“If you intended to sell or measure produce or goods of any kind, it would be essential to know how many pints or quarts are contained in a gallon, or in a bushel, or how many inches there are in a yard, and you also ought to know just what the quantity term _bushel_ or the measurement _yard_ means.”
“It'll work just fine. a yard is a yard and nothing will change that. when you yardage it from a tree stand it will be off a bit but just aim at the distance the animal is from the bottom of your treestand. make some markers before you go in your stand.”
“I know grass will grow in it because my yard is the same type of soil.”
“Not everyone who comes to Lower Greenville gets intoxicated & all bar & restaurant owners are not scum but your yard is an eyesore & a pig sty.”
“We've had enough rain lately that the soil in the yard is actually moist -- something that will unfortunately encourage the hell out of the weeds, I'm sure.”
“Claims that the yard is his 'cause he lives on the bottom.”
“After I left what they called the yard, I went into what we call the packing department where we packed the furniture.”
“Wexford pricked up his ears at it* No, it was true, she had never set foot pie 1121 or seen Natalie closer than across the L fexford noted that what she called the yard li by Kingsmarkham standards, a large len, dense with oleanders, peach trees and cacti.”
“I don't know that all the Haligonian washerwomen live around it, but certainly a good percentage of them must, for the yard is a network of lines from which sundry and divers garments are always streaming gaily to the breezes.”
“The things were packed, and Jack, the bull-dog, hoisted into the interior in a few minutes; Drysdale produced a long straight horn, which he called his yard of tin”
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