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2017 Word of the Year

standby

or stand-by

[stand-bahy] /ˈstændˌbaɪ/
noun, plural standbys.
1.
a staunch supporter or adherent; one who can be relied upon.
2.
something upon which one can rely and therefore choose or use regularly.
3.
something or someone held ready to serve as a substitute, especially a radio or television program used as a filler in case of cancellation of a regularly scheduled program.
4.
a traveler who is waiting for last-minute accommodations to become available on a plane, train, or other transport as a result of a cancellation.
adjective
5.
kept readily available for use in an emergency, shortage, or the like:
a standby player.
6.
of or relating to last-minute accommodations, the transport that offers them, or a traveler who is waiting for them:
a standby flight.
7.
of or relating to a waiting period.
Idioms
8.
on standby, in a state of readiness to act, respond, or be used immediately when needed.
Origin of standby
1790-1800
First recorded in 1790-1800; noun, adj. use of verb phrase stand by
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for standby
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So the apple came early to be a standby on the new continent.

    The Apple-Tree L. H. Bailey
  • Irish potatoes are expensive, as most of this standby is imported.

  • That's all you need to clear you of rescue and standby responsibility.

    Spillthrough Daniel F. Galouye
  • A standby pattern lighted the screen, and I stared at it numbly.

    Backlash Winston Marks
  • He had no trade as a standby; his whole endowment was his youth and his wits.

    In Clive's Command

    Herbert Strang

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13
14
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