A yard (abbreviation: yd) is a unit of length in several different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. Its size can varies from system to system. The most commonly used yard today is the international yard, which is equal to 0.9144 metre.

The yard is used as the standard unit of field-length measurement in the American, English, and Canadian games of football (although Canada has officially adopted the metric system).

The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2002/20023113.htm] only provides for the use of yards and miles when showing distances on British road signposts. But, in 2007 and 2008, many driver location signs [http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/17088.aspx] using kilometers to specify the distance from specified reference points were erected on many British Motorways.

A corresponding unit of area is the square yard.

In the context of American and Canadian concrete mixers' loads, a cubic yard is always called simply a "yard". A typical marking would indicate that a mixer had a capacity of "11 yards" or "1.5 yards".

"Yard" also is a term used in financial markets for one billion (1010) units of currency (derived from the French "milliard") in order to avoid the ambiguity between "billion" and "million". Example: a yard of dollars is $1bn. [ [http://www.bloomberg.com/invest/glossary/bfglosy.htm Bloomberg.com: Financial Glossary] ]

Equivalence to other units of length

unit of length
m= 0.9144
1 international yard is equal to:

* 0.5 fathom (1 fathom is equal to 2 yards)
* 3 feet (1 foot is a third of a yard)
* 36 inches
* 0.9144 metre (1 metre is equal to about 1.0936 international yards)

The early yard was divided by the binary method into two, four, eight, and sixteen parts called the half-yard, span, finger, and nail. Two yards are a fathom.

Historical origin

The yard derives its name from the word for a straight branch or rod, although the precise origin of the measure is not definitely known. Some believe it derived from the double cubit, or that it originated from cubic measure, others from its near equivalents, like the length of a stride or pace. One postulate was that the yard was derived from the girth of a person's waist, while another claim held that the measure was invented by Henry I of England as being the distance between the tip of his nose and the end of his thumb. These are believed to be more likely standardising events than a random invention of the measure. [ [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6-E8AAAAIAAJ&pg=RA2-PA377&lpg=RA2-PA377&dq=money+weights+and+measures+gyrd&source=web&ots=ktt2f1xIPx&sig=WlzNk4CD_pjf0nCgleSGxEbGbk0&hl=en "Money — Weights and Measures"] , "The Every-day Book and Table Book; or, Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements, Sports, Pastimes, Ceremonies, Manners, Customs, and Events, Each of the Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Days, in Past and Present Times; Forming a Complete History of the Year, Months, and Seasons, and a Perpetual Key to the Almanac, Including Accounts of the Weather, Rules for Health and Conduct, Remarkable and Important Anecdotes, Facts, and Notices, in Chronology, Antiquities, Topography, Biography, Natural History, Art, Science, and General Literature; Derived from the Most Authentic Sources, and Valuable Original Communication, with Poetical Elucidations, for Daily Use and Diversion. Vol III.", ed. William Hone, (London: 1838) p 378. Retrieved on 2008-06-09]

In currency and financial market usage, "yard" derives from "milliard", a now rarely used term for 1,000,000,000.


ee also

* anthropic units
* English unit
* Imperial unit
* Guz, the yard of the Middle East
* United States customary units
* Vara

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • yard — yard …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • yard — [ jard ] n. m. • 1669; mot angl. ♦ Mesure de longueur anglo saxonne (0,914 m). ⇒ verge. ● yard nom masculin (anglais yard) Unité principale de longueur (symbole yd) du système de mesures coutumier dans les pays anglo saxons, valant 0,914 m. yard… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Yard — Yard, n. [OE. yard, yerd, AS. geard; akin to OFries. garda garden, OS. gardo garden, gard yard, D. gaard garden, G. garten, OHG. garto garden, gari inclosure, Icel. gar[eth]r yard, house, Sw. g[*a]rd, Dan. gaard, Goth. gards a house, garda… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yard — 〈n.; s, s od. ; Abk.: yd.〉 engl. u. nordamerikanisches Längenmaß, 0,91 m [engl., „Gerte, Messrute“; verwandt mit Gerte] * * * Yard [engl.: jɑ:d ], das; s, s <aber: 4 Yard[s]> [engl. yard, eigtl. = Maßstab; Rute]: Längeneinheit in… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • yard — yard1 [yärd] n. [ME yerde < OE gierd, rod, staff, yard measure, akin to obs. Ger gerte, rod < IE * g̑hazdho , var. of base * ghasto , rod, pole > L hasta, pole, spear] 1. a) a unit of length in the FPS system, equal to 3 feet or 36… …   English World dictionary

  • Yard — Yard, n. [OE. yerd, AS. gierd, gyrd, a rod, stick, a measure, a yard; akin to OFries. ierde, OS. gerda, D. garde, G. gerte, OHG. gartia, gerta, gart, Icel. gaddr a goad, sting, Goth. gazds, and probably to L. hasta a spear. Cf. {Gad}, n., {Gird} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • yard — W2S2 [ja:d US ja:rd] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(measure)¦ 2¦(enclosed area)¦ 3¦(garden)¦ 4¦(back of house)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [Sense: 1; Origin: Old English geard, gierd stick ] [Sense: 2 4; Origin: Old E …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • yard — Ⅰ. yard [1] ► NOUN 1) a unit of linear measure equal to 3 feet (0.9144 metre). 2) a square or cubic yard, especially of sand or other building materials. 3) a cylindrical spar slung across a ship s mast for a sail to hang from. ● by the yard Cf.… …   English terms dictionary

  • Yard — Yard, v. t. To confine (cattle) to the yard; to shut up, or keep, in a yard; as, to yard cows. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • yard — [ jard ] noun count *** 1. ) AMERICAN an area around a house that is used for sitting, playing, and growing plants in. British garden a ) an enclosed area around a large building where people can do activities outside: a school/prison yard b ) a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • yard — ‘enclosed area’ [OE] and yard ‘three feet’ [OE] are distinct words, both of ancient ancestry. The former probably goes back ultimately to Indo European *ghorto , which also produced Latin cohors ‘court’ (source of English cohort and court) and… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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