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standoff

or stand-off

[stand-awf, -of]
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noun
  1. a standing off or apart; aloofness.
  2. a tie or draw, as in a game.
  3. something that counterbalances.
  4. a prop for holding the top of a ladder away from the vertical surface against which it is leaning.
  5. Electricity. an insulator that supports a conductor above a surface.
adjective
  1. standing off or apart; aloof; reserved: an uncordial and standoff manner.

Origin of standoff

First recorded in 1830–40; noun, adj. use of verb phrase stand off
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for standoff

standoff

noun
  1. US and Canadian the act or an instance of standing off or apart
  2. a deadlock or stalemate
  3. any situation or disposition of forces that counterbalances or neutralizes
  4. rugby short for stand-off half
verb stand off (adverb)
  1. (intr) to navigate a vessel so as to avoid the shore, an obstruction, etc
  2. (tr) to keep or cause to keep at a distance
  3. (intr) to reach a deadlock or stalemate
  4. (tr) to dismiss (workers), esp temporarily
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012