AskDefine | Define yards




  1. Plural of yard
  2. In the context of "nautical|pluralonly": The totality of the sailing rig.
    Her yards were bare and cockabill.



  1. Plural of yard
A yard (abbreviation: yd) is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. Its size can vary from system to system. The most commonly used yard today is the international yard which by definition is equal to 0.9144 metre.
The yard is used as the standard unit of field length measurement in both the American, English and Canadian games of football (although Canada has officially adopted the metric system).
The yard is used on road signs and markers in the UK. Indeed, it is illegal to display length/speed in metres/kilometres on road signs in the UK, as this would cause confusion.
A corresponding unit of area is the square yard.
Yard is also a slang word, used particularly in currency trading, for one billion units of a currency, e.g., a yard of dollars is $1bn, thus a buyer of a billion dollars could say "I'm a buyer of a yard of dollars."

Equivalence to other units of length

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


See also

yards in Afrikaans: Jaart
yards in Arabic: يارد
yards in Asturian: Yarda
yards in Bulgarian: Ярд
yards in Catalan: Iarda
yards in Czech: Yard
yards in Danish: Yard
yards in German: Yard
yards in Spanish: Yarda
yards in Esperanto: Jardo
yards in Basque: Yarda
yards in French: Yard
yards in Galician: Iarda
yards in Korean: 야드
yards in Croatian: Jard
yards in Indonesian: Yard
yards in Italian: Iarda
yards in Kurdish: Yard
yards in Hungarian: Yard
yards in Macedonian: Јарда
yards in Malay (macrolanguage): Ela
yards in Dutch: Yard
yards in Japanese: ヤード
yards in Norwegian: Yard
yards in Uzbek: Yard
yards in Polish: Jard
yards in Portuguese: Jarda
yards in Russian: Ярд
yards in Albanian: Jardi
yards in Simple English: Yard (unit of length)
yards in Serbian: Јард
yards in Finnish: Jaardi
yards in Swedish: Yard
yards in Tamil: யார் (நீள அலகு)
yards in Thai: หลา
yards in Vietnamese: Yard
yards in Turkish: Yarda
yards in Ukrainian: Ярд
yards in Urdu: گز
yards in Walloon: Vedje canadyinne
yards in Chinese: 码
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