gold standard

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gold standard (plural gold standards)

  1. (economics) A monetary system where the value of circulating money is linked to the value of gold.
    • 2002, Philip Ball, The Elements: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford 2004, p. 57
      In countries that accepted the gold standard, currency could be exchanged at a bank for a fixed weight of gold.
  2. (idiomatic) A test or measure of comparison that is considered ultimate or ideal.
    The OED is the gold standard for English dictionaries. Everyone wants to see how their version measures up to that ideal.