something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison; an approved model.
an object that is regarded as the usual or most common size or form of its kind: We stock the deluxe models as well as the standards.
a rule or principle that is used as a basis for judgment: They tried to establish standards for a new philosophical approach.
an average or normal requirement, quality, quantity, level, grade, etc.: His work this week hasn't been up to his usual standard.
standards, those morals, ethics, habits, etc., established by authority, custom, or an individual as acceptable: He tried to live up to his father's standards.
a grade of beef immediately below good.
the authorized exemplar of a unit of weight or measure.
a certain commodity in or by which a basic monetary unit is stated. Compare gold standard, silver standard, bimetallism, monometallism.
the legally established content of full-weight coins.
the prescribed degree of fineness for gold or silver.
British. a class or grade in elementary schools.
a musical piece of sufficiently enduring popularity to be made part of a permanent repertoire, especially a popular song.
a flag indicating the presence of a sovereign or public official.
a flag, emblematic figure, or other object raised on a pole to indicate the rallying point of an army, fleet, etc.
any of various military or naval flags.
the colors of a mounted unit.
(initial capital letter) a U.S. Navy radar-guided surface-to-air missile with a range of 10–30 miles (16–48 km).
Heraldry. a long, tapering flag or ensign, as of a monarch or a nation.
something that stands or is placed upright.
a long candlestick or candelabrum used in a church.
an upright support or supporting part.
Armor. a standing collar of mail.
Horticulture. a plant trained or grafted to have a single, erect, treelike stem.
Botany. a distinct petal, larger than the rest, of certain flowers; a vexillum.
serving as a basis of weight, measure, value, comparison, or judgment.
of recognized excellence or established authority: a standard reference on medieval history.
usual, common, or customary: Chairs are standard furniture in American households.
manual; not electric or automatic: standard transmission.
conforming in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, etc., to the usage of most educated native speakers, especially those having prestige, and widely considered acceptable or correct: Standard American English; standard pronunciation. Compare nonstandard ( def 2 ).
authorized or approved: The program was broadcast on the standard broadcast band.

1125–75; Middle English < Old French, probably < Frankish *standord (compare German Standort standing-point), conformed to -ard -ard

prestandard, noun, adjective
superstandard, noun, adjective
unstandard, adjective

1, 3. gauge, basis, pattern, guide. Standard, criterion refer to the basis for making a judgment. A standard is an authoritative principle or rule that usually implies a model or pattern for guidance, by comparison with which the quantity, excellence, correctness, etc., of other things may be determined: She could serve as the standard of good breeding. A criterion is a rule or principle used to judge the value, suitability, probability, etc., of something, without necessarily implying any comparison: Wealth is no criterion of a person's worth. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
standard (ˈstændəd)
1.  an accepted or approved example of something against which others are judged or measured
2.  (often plural) a principle of propriety, honesty, and integrity: she has no standards
3.  a level of excellence or quality: a low standard of living
4.  any distinctive flag, device, etc, as of a nation, sovereign, or special cause
5.  a.  any of a variety of naval or military flags
 b.  the colours of a cavalry regiment
6.  a flag or emblem formerly used to show the central or rallying point of an army in battle
7.  a large tapering flag ending in two points, originally borne by a sovereign or high-ranking noble
8.  the commodity or commodities in which is stated the value of a basic monetary unit: the gold standard
9.  an authorized model of a unit of measure or weight
10.  a unit of board measure equal to 1980 board feet
11.  (in coinage) the prescribed proportion by weight of precious metal and base metal that each coin must contain
12.  an upright pole or beam, esp one used as a support
13.  a.  a piece of furniture consisting of an upright pole or beam on a base or support
 b.  (as modifier): a standard lamp
14.  a.  a plant, esp a fruit tree, that is trained so that it has an upright stem free of branches
 b.  (as modifier): a standard cherry
15.  a song or piece of music that has remained popular for many years
16.  the largest petal of a leguminous flower, such as a sweetpea
17.  (in New Zealand and, formerly, in England and Wales) a class or level of attainment in an elementary school
18.  of the usual, regularized, medium, or accepted kind: a standard size
19.  of recognized authority, competence, or excellence: the standard work on Greece
20.  nonstandard Compare informal denoting or characterized by idiom, vocabulary, etc, that is regarded as correct and acceptable by educated native speakers
21.  (Brit) (formerly) (of eggs) of a size that is smaller than large and larger than medium
[C12: from Old French estandart gathering place, flag to mark such a place, probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German stantan to stand, Old High German ort place]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-12c., "flag or other conspicuous object to serve as a rallying point for a military force," from O.Fr. estandart, probably from Frank. *standhard, lit. "stand fast or firm," a compound of words similar to Gothic standan "to stand" (see stand) and hardus "hard" (see
hard). So called because the flag was fixed to a pole or spear and stuck in the ground to stand upright. The other theory connects the O.Fr. word to estendre "to stretch out," from L. extendere (see extend). Meaning "unit of measure" is early 14c., from Anglo-Fr., where it was used 13c., and is perhaps metaphoric, the royal standard coming to stand for royal authority in matters like setting weights and measures. Hence the meaning "authoritative or recognized exemplar of quality or correctness" (late 15c.). Meaning "rule, principal or means of judgment" is from 1560s. That of "definite level of attainment" is attested from 1711 (e.g. standard of living, 1903). Some senses (e.g. "upright pole," mid-15c.) seem to be influenced by stand (v.). Standardize is recorded from 1873. Standard-bearer in the figurative sense is from 1560s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

standard stan·dard (stān'dərd)

  1. An acknowledged measure of comparison for quantitative or qualitative value; a criterion.

  2. An object that under specified conditions defines, represents, or records the magnitude of a unit.

  1. Serving as or conforming to a standard of measurement or value.

  2. Widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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