Main meanings of yard in English

: yard1yard2

yard1

noun

  • 1

    (also yd)
    A unit of linear measure equal to 3 feet (0.9144 metre)

    ‘a full skirt that took twenty yards of cloth’
    • ‘On the half hour mark Brian Pendergast let fly with a right foot shot from twenty yards.’
    • ‘How many inches equal a yard is not something subject to daily fluctuations on the free or any other market.’
    • ‘I headed the ball back inside and eventually the ball ended up at my feet 20 yards from goal and I just hit it.’
    • ‘With fox hunting you have hoards of people following across country on foot, one way or another, for yards or miles.’
    • ‘One meter is equivalent to 1.09 yards and one inch is equivalent to 2.54 centimeters.’
    • ‘He could tell us the speed of the train and how many miles / yards / feet we had until the next state line or anywhere else.’
    • ‘Vivian Foley crossed to Ger Foley and his twenty yards shot hit the crossbar but fell to the feet of Gary Doyle who scored the opening goal.’
    • ‘The next three runnings were over one mile six furlongs and 12 yards.’
    • ‘Start thinking in pounds, quarts, gallons, inches, yards and miles.’
    • ‘I read with interest recently about plans to develop a golf course in Wales that will eventually measure over 8000 yards.’
    • ‘The course measures 5,293 yards and was designed by Eddie Hackett.’
    • ‘Many are anthropomorphic - the foot, the yard, the cubit, the span - and arise from the dimensions of parts of the human body.’
    • ‘He set world records for the 800 metres and 880 yards in the same race at Christchurch and the mile at Cooks Garden, Wanganui.’
    • ‘An anti-metric activist yesterday appeared in court charged with stealing road signs which gave distances in metres rather than yards.’
    • ‘I still talk about acres, yards, feet and inches; not forgetting gallons and pints and also hundredweights pounds and ounces.’
    • ‘His second, nine minutes later, was a rasping left foot drive from twenty five yards which hit the stanchion as the Castleton keeper stood mesmerised.’
    • ‘Thirteen under par may have paled in comparison with the exploits of Tiger Woods and a number of others but it is still a decent score on a golf course measuring 7,246 yards.’
    • ‘In the imperial system, 36 inches are 1 yard and 1760 yards are 1 mile.’
    • ‘It has a 7,653 yard range and its warhead consists of a tandem-shaped charge to penetrate reactive armour.’
    • ‘Weeks of learning 12 inches to one foot, three feet to a yard, 22 yards to a chain and however many chains to a mile - with rods, poles and perches somewhere in between.’
    1. 1.1yards ofinformal A great length of something.
      ‘yards and yards of fine lace’
      • ‘There are dozens of scene switches, a multitude of props, yards of costume changes.’
      • ‘Fisher insists, though, that his star performer brings more than just yards of hard-won advances down field.’
      • ‘At night, take a torch and you can get within yards of marsupials, including the faintly horrid Tasmanian devil.’
      • ‘Outside, it is protected from the English winter weather by yards of bubble wrap and a child's umbrella.’
      • ‘An architect undertaking the construction of a temple or palace began with stacks of bricks, yards of timber, and legions of slaves.’
    2. 1.2A square or cubic yard, especially of sand or other building materials.
      • ‘On top of the trash, millions of cubic yards of fine white sand were pumped as a slurry from Rockaway Inlet.’
      • ‘The rate of sludge generation in septic tanks is around 0.05 cubic yards every year for an individual.’
      • ‘I paid for 25 cubic yards of concrete and a day's labor for eight concrete finishers, and we had a slab.’
      • ‘Barton Malow also placed 1700 cubic yards of SCC to cast a mat-slab for the building.’
      • ‘First, Coleman enriched the existing soil with 6 cubic yards of planting mix.’
      • ‘We can become so wrapped up in cubic yards of capacity and horsepower that we ignore those components of scrapers and graders.’
      • ‘However, the capacity of today's trucks varies a great deal, and few of them can actually carry nine cubic yards of cement.’
      • ‘Sexton said 12,000 to 14,000 cubic yards of material would be placed on the track during the project.’
      • ‘It took 8,100 tons of steel, 44,100 cubic yards of concrete, and over 160 miles of cable.’
      • ‘GMA produces more than 1 million square yards of camouflage-patterned materials each year.’
      • ‘The combined weight of both backing and coating, measured in ounces per square yard of wallcovering.’
      • ‘The project required roughly 80,000 cubic yards of concrete and grout using 12 different mix designs.’
      • ‘The commercial paving contractor, however, is likely to charge by the square yard, based on a certain thickness of each material.’
      • ‘The last of the material, about 100,000 cubic yards, will be delivered from the Big Dig by Dec.31.’
      • ‘Last summer, success built on success: 4,000 residents cleared out 11,000 cubic yards.’
      • ‘Consider a facility executive purchasing 10,000 square yards of flooring who has narrowed the selection to two choices.’
      • ‘A dam of its size would require pouring 4.4 million cubic yards of concrete: more wet cement than ever created before.’
      • ‘Many loose materials are sold by the cubic yard, including cement, dirt, sand, rock, landscaping bark, gravel and cinders.’
      • ‘More than two dozen electric and steam locomotives along with hundreds of dump cars were required to remove about 37 million cubic yards of material.’
      • ‘It was constructed by the state in the 1930s and through the 1950s and '60s, hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sand were deposited there.’
  • 2A cylindrical spar, tapering to each end, slung across a ship's mast for a sail to hang from.

    • ‘The Captain motioned with his eyes and his head to the main mast top yard.’
    • ‘The argument is that a three-masted ship had three yards on each mast for the square sails, making nine in all.’
    • ‘They could see Bowles and they waited, bracing themselves against the yard should the two ships collide.’
    • ‘The ship also carried standing skysail pales and yards, a half poop, and had as her figurehead a toothy dragon's head.’
    • ‘To have the ship's company clearly visible on deck, or in the days of sail, aloft on the yards, meant that the guns were not manned.’
    • ‘Masts and yards continued to be installed for decades, becoming increasingly vestigial, but the die was cast.’
    • ‘Her captain was at the top yard of the main mast, glass to eye.’
    • ‘About 170 lines control the sails and yards, so every member of the crew must be familiar with these operations and functions.’
    • ‘They stood in the foot ropes of the main mast topsail yard.’
    • ‘He moves one of the sails so that the yard catches Will and swings him out over the sea. Now, as long as you're just hanging there, pay attention.’
  • 3US informal 100 dollars; a 100 dollar bill.

    ‘it cost two hundred up front—one yard for Maurice, one for the girl’

Phrases

    by the yard
    • In large numbers or quantities.

      ‘golf continues to inspire books by the yard’
      • ‘Those who do not read, or worse yet that tribe of heretics who purchase books by the yard as decorating tools, don't understand that one does not always go to a library to read or to conduct research.’
      • ‘And political rope has been played out by the yard in the Irish peace process that was meant to bolster trust and truth but which displayed instead the most convenient arrangement of alternatives.’
      • ‘The entertainment mode is drunken, end-of-university-term party, hard flesh ripples by the yard and it's high-fives and carb-balanced designer water.’
      • ‘(The hackademic machine is now happily turning out Deleuze wallpaper by the yard of course).’
      • ‘When I asked about the flag material, I was told that shops were selling it by the yard after 9 / 11.’
      • ‘These are the people who buy their art by the yard, and tend to like good old landscapes, boats and sporting subjects.’
      • ‘You can buy aquamarine images by the yard in quayside galleries in St Ives, Penzance, Mevagissey or Falmouth.’
      • ‘The Russell family have evidently spent a couple of dozen generations rapaciously buying pictures by the yard.’
      • ‘Despite the disdain for tartan shown by the SNP, Scots are buying kilts by - well, by the yard.’
      • ‘Like many people my age I've got lots of CDs, and I've still got vinyl by the yard.’
      • ‘Since he was so incredibly prolific, cranking out the copy by the yard, he could hardly help committing the odd slip-up here and there.’
      • ‘Shakespeare has left us a satiric portrait of the poet who writes verses by the yard to please a patron in Timon of Athens.’
      • ‘Parthus has got techno-babble buzzwords by the yard.’

Origin

Old English gerd (in yard (sense 2)), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch gard ‘twig, rod’ and German Gerte.

Pronunciation

yard

/jɑːd/

Main meanings of yard in English

: yard1yard2

yard2

noun

  • 1British A piece of uncultivated ground adjoining a building, typically one enclosed by walls or other buildings.

    ‘tiny houses with the lavatory in the yard’
    • ‘They took their food and went to sit on the low wall that enclosed the yard.’
    • ‘The village square is dominated by a pristine, thatched church enclosed within a walled yard.’
    • ‘There was a yard enclosed by a high brick wall at one end of the place.’
    • ‘The house is a huge damp building that would be demolished at home, and has plain white mildew-covered walls. The playground is a dust yard with a rusting swing set which the kids love.’
    • ‘To this I cou'd not submit to secure the barrack I offered to erect four large sheds and finished one - together with some paling to enclose a yard.’
    • ‘Patrons could apparently stand in the yard around the stage and either stand or sit in the galleries which enclosed the yard.’
    • ‘Workers may also assemble in a yard on the company grounds to engage in group exercises at the start of the day.’
    • ‘Several Hampshire rams had been seen during the present week, however, sleeping and cropping the grass in the yard adjoining a well-known York church.’
    • ‘We get a lot of youngsters at the back of our house jumping over the wall near our yard and a bottle was smashed near our back gate in the middle of the night.’
    • ‘Mr Hayton, who is in his 40s, found the thief rifling through the purse in an enclosed yard but the man drew a cutthroat razor and advanced, waving the blade from side to side.’
    • ‘When I wanted to, I could sit nude, as the entire yard was enclosed by a tall cement block fence that had been painted pink.’
    • ‘Next to the small psychiatric hospital, with its yard enclosed by a high wire fence, was the leper colony.’
    • ‘The result is a very attractive building which is now the centre piece of the yard.’
    • ‘Mr Hewitt said one important piece of advice was for people to watch out for any strangers hanging about stables or yards.’
    • ‘She saw Avery in the prison yard hanging from the shackles on his wrists.’
    1. 1.1North American The garden of a house.
      • ‘You may even find some that prove more useful in the yard and garden than in your kitchen.’
      • ‘So, you have decided to plant rose bushes in your yard or on your patio, porch or balcony.’
      • ‘You'd get to know them, and pretty soon we were just like anybody else hanging out in the yard.’
      • ‘Since it's my tree, can I trim the branches even though they hang over onto his yard?’
      • ‘Our neighbors had a guava tree with branches that hung over into our yard.’
      • ‘She scuttled over the window and ran out the yard sailing over the chain link fence and jumping into the car as it drove away.’
      • ‘Most of us consider our yards and gardens an extension of our homes, and we look for sanctuary and privacy there.’
      • ‘I thought I wouldn't care so much, but I'd like to garden and have a yard just to stand in the grass.’
      • ‘If you've got a problem with mosquitoes, you can also place a few citronella candles around the yard or patio.’
      • ‘I used a large tree in my yard as the main brace, and worked around that.’
      • ‘Or brick can form a subtle, natural path through your yard, linking patio and gardens.’
      • ‘Everyone else was going to take down the giant sunflowers and dead tomato plants in my garden and get the yard ready for winter.’
      • ‘We have the occasional sighting of a bluejay or a cardinal, but that doesn't make up for the lower class of birds who hang out in my yard.’
      • ‘A malnourished kitten has been hanging around my yard and alley lately.’
      • ‘Well, you see, though Thomas needed the money and was willing to work for it, his work in her yard and gardens were terrible.’
      • ‘Kim and her family moved to this house in 1991, and Kim immediately began to renovate the neglected yard.’
      • ‘I want to start a vinyard, and an organic garden in my yard, because I've got a couple of acres…’
      • ‘While most of us are preparing our yards and gardens for the cooler weather, many in the warmer regions are still enjoying the fruits of their labor.’
      • ‘These signs grace the three nearest places I can get food, as well as the nearest computer store, and the yards of three of my nearby neighbors.’
      • ‘Maybe it's the neighbor to the south who has the beautiful yard with the beautiful garden with the perfect fountain and the elegant rock formation.’
      • ‘His house was large, though not overly so, and beautiful, the lawn perfectly manicured and flowers growing in perfect little gardens in the yard.’
      backyard, garden
      View synonyms
  • 2An area of land used for a particular purpose or business.

    ‘a builder's yard’
    • ‘Five or six trips to the dump yard on the far lands and I stopped for something to eat.’
    • ‘These traders require access to their stores and yards to run their businesses.’
    • ‘My father has a little family business, a scrap-metal business with a yard and lorry.’
    • ‘I went by a yacht yard beside the highway every day and one day stopped in and began admiring a Compac yacht.’
    • ‘That option is likely to suit businesses such as Benchmark which require large storage yards.’
    • ‘You'd ride over a rise and into a storage yard full of pipe and conduit.’
    • ‘It is understood that a considerable amount of waste material lies under the yard at the site, pictured above.’
    • ‘Just north of the Metrorail transfer station we passed Amtrak's yards and Miami area station on the left.’
    • ‘Young arsonists were today blamed for a blaze which ripped through a caravan, nearly destroying a storage yard.’
    • ‘It's a suburb choked with car yards and petrol stations, but everything was either closed or cap-less.’
    • ‘Their recreation area is a yard, measuring 45 feet by 20, with a steel mesh covering on top.’
    • ‘The area which used to be the service yard for Tesco would be transformed into a riverside arena, resembling an amphitheatre.’
    • ‘Sister ship HMS Enterprise is currently undergoing construction at the same yard, and is due to enter service next year.’
    • ‘The gang loaded the bikes which all had keys in the ignition on to a trailer belonging to garage owner Rhett Fisher, who leases part of his yard to the business.’
    • ‘There have been six major fires at fridge storage yards in the region - the latest in October at the yard in Stock Lane, Chadderton.’
    • ‘Sixty new buildings and skyscrapers costing over $700 million shot up on former rail yards and warehouse areas.’
    • ‘Provision of adequate storage yards at metro stations.’
    • ‘You can substitute materials lying around your yard.’
    • ‘Montague says they are doing everything they can do to control the beetles, and that includes implementing preventative measures at the mill yard.’
    • ‘Prosecuting counsel Amy Nicholson told the court that on January 23 the police searched the yard of a business run by Murphy and Sanderson.’
    • ‘As well, Greenpeace and the ITF are jointly campaigning against the pollution and exploitation at the world's ship wrecking yards.’
    • ‘Twenty interns in six unions worked on campaigns including in call centres, furniture factories, transport yards, hospitals and hotels.’
    • ‘But, unknown to her owner, for the past three weeks Tiny has been wandering into the yard at Clacton police station looking for food and attention.’
    • ‘He had previously used the yard for the purposes of an ambulance business which had ceased to trade in about 1995.’
    workshop, works, factory, garage, plant, foundry, mill, industrial unit, business unit
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1the YardBritish informal
      another term for Scotland Yard
  • 3West Indian A house and the land attached.

    • ‘To enter where he is, one must pass several shrines and offerings all about the yard of his home.’
    • ‘I was walking around the yard of the house where Natty, MBJr. and I are living and I happened to glance over the fence.’
    • ‘Sulchan reportedly opened the door without anyone knowing and ran out behind her father as he was reversing into the yard of their Freeport home.’
    • ‘Second time was because Alvin, the fellow who comes twice a week to do odd jobs around the house and the yard, chopped his index finger with the cutlass!’
    • ‘Oscar knowing that he has sufficiently punished Black dog for the insult of biting Lady, simply strutted back home and into the yard to lick his paw and shoulder.’
    1. 3.1An urban residential compound comprising a number of small rented dwellings around a shared open area.
      • ‘For a while I also shared a yard with a British chap named Roy who worked as a foreman on the project.’
      • ‘There are 14 small shacks and brick houses opening on to the yard, sharing a central tap and stone basin.’
      • ‘Dai people build their wooden housing compound in a yard.’
      • ‘She washes - humiliatingly, since she is a modest and dignified woman - at a stand-pipe in the yard shared with her neighbours.’
    2. 3.2South African A plot of land, or the grounds of a building, accommodating a number of small rooms let out as living space.
      • ‘The yard and room are now to be transformed into a tourist site, to be called the Mandela Yard Interpretation Centre.’
      • ‘The yard and the room that he rented are being developed into what will be known as the Mandela Yard Interpretation Centre.’
      • ‘Additional separate rooms, called backyard shacks, occupy most of the space in most yards, to form ‘town houses’.’
      • ‘Salphina Mulaudzi, the ward councillor for the area, estimates that an average yard accommodates about 10 sub-tenants.’
  • 4

    (also Yard)
    (especially among expatriate Jamaicans) home; Jamaica.

    ‘life in Yard is no Caribbean holiday’
    • ‘Bob born and grow a Yard, and thats where his body should rest, you simi?’
    • ‘I have had chinese food at a number of places, including New York, Philly, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and probably a few more places that I don't remember, and nowhere else has it tasted as irie as it does back a Yard.’
    • ‘Bwoy, I wish the Commish and his British second every success, but I also read that the British dude, along with plenty other police, had to run for their lives recently when they were touring a rough neighbourhood back a Yard!’

verb

[with object]
  • 1North American Store or transport (wood) in or to a timber yard.

    ‘he is the last logger to be using a sled for yarding logs’
    as noun yarding ‘Canadian operators never practised yarding on a wider scale’
    • ‘On this site, they tackle the block in smaller segments completing some falling and then yarding that wood before moving on.’
    • ‘Such overhead logging methods were paired with cable yarding systems that dragged the logs to their loading sites.’
    • ‘The paper company initially attempted to introduce a capital-intensive cable yarding logging system near Atepec in 1958, but the community opposed this system, which relied upon outside labor to manage the machinery.’
  • 2Put (farm animals) into an enclosure.

    ‘sheep should be yarded even in the spring’
    • ‘They both helped in yarding the sheep, sweeping out the woolshed during shearing (Judy became a proficient shearer), taking morning and afternoon tea to the shearers, and helping drive mobs.’
    • ‘In December 1879 great indignation was felt by all about the brutal assault against Mr Best because he had yarded some trespassing cattle and would not let them go before the owners had paid for the damages.’
    • ‘Much like their forefathers, they yard the cattle with ease and grace, born to the country that surrounds them.’
    • ‘We were trying to yard cattle and you don't get on foot for that.’
  • 3North American no object (of moose) gather as a herd for the winter.

    ‘they note changes in the numbers of moose yarding together’
    • ‘When snow is deep and moose ''yard'' together, they are more accessible in greater numbers to wolves.’
    • ‘Although they yard together in spring, during most of the year, moose are solitary secretive animals and very wary of mankind.’

Origin

Old English geard ‘building, home, region’, from a Germanic base related to Russian gorod ‘town’. Compare with garden and orchard.

Pronunciation

yard

/jɑːd/