Meaning of STANDARD in English


I. stan ‧ dard 1 S2 W2 /ˈstændəd $ -ərd/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ standard , ↑ standardization ; adjective : stardard, ↑ substandard ; verb : ↑ standardize ]

[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: estandard 'battle-flag' ]

1 . LEVEL OF QUALITY/ACHIEVEMENT [uncountable and countable] the level that is considered to be acceptable, or the level that someone or something has achieved:

Students have to reach a certain standard or they won’t pass.

The airline has rigorous safety standards.

standard of

The committee is assessing the standard of care in local hospitals.

2 . MORAL PRINCIPLES standards [plural] moral principles about what kind of behaviour or attitudes are acceptable:

the recent decline in moral standards

standards fall/slip/go down

Standards have slipped since I was a boy.

3 . MEASUREMENT [countable] a fixed official rule for measuring weight, ↑ purity , value etc:

an official government standard for the purity of silver

4 . SONG [countable] a popular song that has been sung by many different singers:

popular jazz standards

5 . FLAG [countable] old-fashioned a flag used in ceremonies:

the royal standard

⇨ ↑ double standard , ↑ living standard

• • •


■ verbs

▪ meet/reach a standard

Many food businesses fail to meet basic standards of hygiene.

▪ set/lay down a standard

The government sets standards that all hospitals must reach.

▪ raise/improve standards

We are determined to raise standards in our schools.

▪ lower standards

He refused to lower his standards.

▪ maintain standards (=keep them at a good level)

Television companies should maintain standards of taste and decency.

▪ standards improve

The standard of this festival improves every year.

▪ standards fall/slip/decline

School inspectors say that educational standards have fallen.

■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + standard

▪ high/good

The standard of their work was generally very high.

▪ low/poor

The report says the standard of children’s diet in Britain is poor.

▪ acceptable

All too often their behaviour has fallen below acceptable standards.

▪ stringent/strict/rigorous/tough standards (=high standards that are difficult to reach)

The Marines’ rigorous standards mean that only a small proportion of applicants are successful.

▪ international standards

Clearly there is a need for international standards to be laid down to govern food safety.

▪ safety/hygiene/quality etc standards

All our products meet the current safety standards.

▪ academic/educational standards

There had been a policy of raising academic standards within the school.

▪ environmental standards (=to protect the environment)

They called on the Indian government to apply stricter environmental standards.

▪ professional standards (=within a particular profession)

The institutions have an evident interest in maintaining professional standards.

▪ living standards ( also standard of living ) (=the level of comfort and the amount of money people have)

Living standards at all income levels improved over that period.

■ phrases

▪ an improvement/rise in standards

There has been an improvement in living standards.

▪ a decline/drop in standards

There has been a general decline in standards of literacy among undergraduates.

▪ be/come up to standard (=be good enough)

Her work was not up to standard.

▪ be below standard (=not be good enough)

His performance yesterday was below standard.

▪ by modern standards/today’s standards

The technology was crude by modern standards.

▪ by our standards (=judging by what we are used to)

The equipment was very old-fashioned by our standards.

▪ by British/African etc standards

Class sizes are small by British standards.

II. standard 2 S2 W2 BrE AmE adjective

1 . accepted as normal or usual:

We paid them the standard rate.

standard practice/procedure (=the usual way of doing things)

Searching luggage at airports is now standard practice.

The format is fairly standard.

2 . regular and usual in shape, size, quality etc OPP non-standard :

We make shoes in standard and wide sizes.

All these vans are made to a standard design.

3 . a standard book, work etc is read by everyone studying a particular subject

4 . the standard form of a language is the one considered to be correct and is used by most people OPP non-standard :

the standard spelling

standard English pronunciation

• • •


▪ normal usual, typical, and as you would expect it to be:

Is this cold weather normal for the time of year?


It had been another normal working day in the office.

▪ ordinary ( also regular especially American English ) not special, unusual, or different from normal:

They lived in an ordinary three-bedroomed house.


It looks like an ordinary car, but it uses solar power.


Would you like a regular salad or a Caesar salad?


I just want an ordinary bicycle, not a mountain bike.

▪ average [only before noun] around the usual level or amount:

She is of average height.


He is of above average intelligence.


The average price of a pint of milk has gone up.

▪ standard normal – used about methods of doing something, or about the size, shape, features etc of products:

It’s standard practice to X-ray hand-baggage at most airports.


We stock shoes in all the standard sizes.

▪ routine used about things that are done regularly as part of a series of things:

The fault was discovered during a routine check of the plane.


routine tasks such as shopping and cooking

▪ everyday [only before noun] used about things that happen or that you use as part of normal life:

He painted scenes of everyday life in France.


Sally was still dressed in her everyday clothes.

▪ common used about birds and plants that are of the most usual type, and in the phrase the common people (=people who are not rich and powerful) :

the common goldfish


an alliance between the aristocracy and the common people

▪ conventional [only before noun] of the kind that is usually used – used when comparing this with a different or special type:

The engine is more efficient than a conventional diesel engine.


the drugs used in conventional medicine


conventional weapons (=not nuclear, chemical, or biological)


conventional ovens and microwaves

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.