yard +‎ stick


yardstick (plural yardsticks)

  1. A measuring rod thirty-six inches (one yard) long.
  2. (figuratively) A standard to which other measurements or comparisons are judged.
    Synonyms: norm, point of reference, benchmark, ideal
    • 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.
    • 2017 October 3, European Court of Human Rights, Silva and Mondim Correia v. Portugal[1], number 72105/14 20415/15, marginal 58:
      The Court has taken a number of factors into consideration in performing the “balancing of interests test” while examining cases concerning limitations on the institution of paternity claims. [] The yardstick against which the above factors are measured is whether a legal presumption has been allowed to prevail over the biological and social reality and if so whether, in the circumstances, this is compatible with the obligation to secure “effective” respect for private and family life, taking into account the margin of appreciation left to the State and the established facts and the wishes of those concerned (ibid. § 55).

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