View synonyms for stand


[ stand ]

verb (used without object)

, stood [st, oo, d], stand·ing [stan, -ding].
  1. (of a person) to be in an upright position on the feet.
  2. to rise to one's feet (often followed by up ).
  3. to have a specified height when in this position:

    a basketball player who stands six feet seven inches.

  4. to stop or remain motionless or steady on the feet.
  5. to take a position or place as indicated:

    to stand aside.

  6. to remain firm or steadfast, as in a cause.
  7. to take up or maintain a position or attitude with respect to a person, issue, or the like:

    to stand as sponsor for a person.

  8. to have or adopt a certain policy, course, or attitude, as of adherence, support, opposition, or resistance:

    He stands for free trade.

  9. (of things) to be in an upright or vertical position, be set on end, or rest on or as on a support.
  10. to be set, placed, fixed, located, or situated:

    The building stands at 34th Street and 5th Avenue.

  11. (of an account, score, etc.) to show, be, or remain as indicated; show the specified position of the parties concerned:

    The score stood 18 to 14 at the half.

  12. to remain erect or whole; resist change, decay, or destruction (often followed by up ):

    The ruins still stand. The old building stood up well.

  13. to continue in force or remain valid:

    The agreement stands as signed.

  14. to remain still, stationary, or unused:

    The bicycle stood in the basement all winter.

  15. to be or become stagnant, as water.
  16. (of persons or things) to be or remain in a specified state, condition, relation, relative position, etc.:

    He stood in jeopardy of losing his license.

  17. to have the possibility or likelihood:

    He stands to gain a sizable profit through the sale of the house.

  18. Chiefly British. to become or be a candidate, as for public office (usually followed by for ).
  19. Nautical.
    1. to take or hold a particular course at sea.
    2. to move in a certain direction:

      to stand offshore.

  20. (of a male domestic animal, especially a stud) to be available as a sire, usually for a fee:

    Three Derby winners are now standing in Kentucky.

verb (used with object)

, stood [st, oo, d], stand·ing [stan, -ding].
  1. to cause to stand; set upright; set:

    Stand the chair by the lamp.

  2. to face or encounter:

    to stand an assault.

  3. to undergo or submit to:

    to stand trial.

  4. to endure or undergo without harm or damage or without giving way:

    His eyes are strong enough to stand the glare.

  5. to endure or tolerate:

    She can't stand her father.

    Synonyms: stomach, abide

  6. to treat or pay for:

    I'll stand you to a drink when the manuscript is in.

  7. to perform the duty of or participate in as part of one's job or duty:

    to stand watch aboard ship.


, plural stands stands or, especially after a numeral, stand
  1. the act of standing; an assuming of or a remaining in an upright position.
  2. a cessation of motion; halt or stop.
  3. a determined effort for or against something, especially a final defensive effort:

    Custer's last stand.

  4. a determined policy, position, attitude, etc., taken or maintained:

    We must take a stand on political issues.

  5. the place in which a person or thing stands; station.
  6. a raised platform, as for a speaker, a band, or the like.
  7. stands, a raised section of seats for spectators; grandstand.
  8. a framework on or in which articles are placed for support, exhibition, etc.:

    a hat stand.

  9. a piece of furniture of various forms, on or in which to put articles (often used in combination):

    a nightstand; a washstand.

  10. a small, light table.
  11. a stall, booth, counter, or the like, where articles are displayed for sale or where some business is carried on:

    a fruit stand.

  12. The papers usually hit the stands at 5 a.m.

  13. a site or location for business:

    After 20 years the ice-cream vendor was still at the same stand.

  14. a place or station occupied by vehicles available for hire:

    a taxicab stand.

  15. the vehicles occupying such a place.
  16. the growing trees, or those of a particular species or grade, in a given area.
  17. a standing growth, as of grass, wheat, etc.
  18. a halt of a theatrical company on tour, to give a performance or performances:

    a series of one-night stands on the strawhat trail.

  19. the town at which a touring theatrical company gives a performance.
  20. Metalworking. a rolling unit in a rolling mill.
  21. Chiefly British. a complete set of arms or accoutrements for one soldier.

verb phrase

    1. to project; protrude:

      The piers stand out from the harbor wall.

    2. to be conspicuous or prominent:

      She stands out in a crowd.

    3. to persist in opposition or resistance; be inflexible.
    4. Nautical. to maintain a course away from shore.
    1. to come to or remain in a standing position:

      to stand up when being introduced.

    2. to remain strong, convincing, or durable:

      The case will never stand up in court. Wool stands up better than silk.

    3. Slang. to fail to keep an appointment with (someone, especially a sweetheart or date):

      I waited for Kim for an hour before I realized I'd been stood up.

    1. to represent; symbolize:

      P.S. stands for “postscript.”

    2. to advocate; favor:

      He stands for both freedom and justice.

    3. Informal. to tolerate; allow:

      I won't stand for any nonsense!

    1. to depend on; rest on:

      The case stands on his testimony.

    2. to be particular about; demand:

      to stand on ceremony.

    3. Nautical. to maintain a course and speed.
    1. to be in association or conspiracy with.
    2. to enjoy the favor of; be on friendly terms with.
    1. to defend the cause of; support:

      No one could understand why he stood up for an incorrigible criminal.

    2. to serve a bridegroom or bride, as best man or maid (matron) of honor.
    1. to supervise very closely; watch constantly:

      He won't work unless someone stands over him.

    2. to put aside temporarily; postpone:

      to let a project stand over until the following year.

  1. to meet or deal with fearlessly; confront:

    to stand up to a bully.

    1. Law. to leave the witness stand.
    2. to step aside; withdraw, as from a competition:

      I agreed to stand down so that she could run for the nomination unopposed.

    3. to leave or take out of active work or service:

      to stand down some of the ships in the fleet.

    1. to uphold; support:

      She stood by him whenever he was in trouble.

    2. to adhere to (an agreement, promise, etc.); affirm:

      She stood by her decision despite her sister's arguments.

    3. to stand ready; wait:

      Please stand by while I fix this antenna.

    4. to get ready to speak, act, etc., as at the beginning of a radio or television program.
    5. to be ready to board a plane, train, or other transport if accommodations become available at the last minute.
    1. to keep or stay at a distance.
    2. to put off; evade.
    1. to continue to hold; persist in:

      to stand to one's statement.

    2. to keep at steadily:

      Stand to your rowing, men!

    3. to wait in readiness; stand by:

      Stand to for action.


/ stænd /


  1. also tr to be or cause to be in an erect or upright position
  2. to rise to, assume, or maintain an upright position
  3. copula to have a specified height when standing

    to stand six feet

  4. to be situated or located

    the house stands in the square

  5. to be or exist in a specified state or condition

    to stand in awe of someone

  6. to adopt or remain in a resolute position or attitude
  7. may take an infinitive to be in a specified position

    he stands high in the president's favour

    I stand to lose money in this venture

  8. to remain in force or continue in effect

    whatever the difficulties, my orders stand

  9. to come to a stop or halt, esp temporarily
  10. (of water, etc) to collect and remain without flowing
  11. often foll by at (of a score, account, etc) to indicate the specified position of the parties involved

    the score stands at 20 to 1

  12. also tr; when intr, foll by for to tolerate or bear

    I won't stand for your nonsense any longer

    I can't stand spiders

  13. tr to resist; survive

    to stand the test of time

  14. tr to submit to

    to stand trial

  15. often foll by for to be or become a candidate

    will he stand for Parliament?

  16. to navigate in a specified direction

    we were standing for Madeira when the storm broke

  17. (of a gun dog) to point at game
  18. to halt, esp to give action, repel attack, or disrupt an enemy advance when retreating
  19. (of a male domestic animal, esp a stallion) to be available as a stud
  20. also tr printing to keep (type that has been set) or (of such type) to be kept, for possible use in future printings
  21. informal.
    tr to bear the cost of; pay for

    to stand someone a drink

  22. stand a chance
    to have a hope or likelihood of winning, succeeding, etc
  23. stand fast
    to maintain one's position firmly
  24. stand one's ground
    to maintain a stance or position in the face of opposition
  25. stand still
    1. to remain motionless
    2. foll by for to tolerate

      I won't stand still for your threats

  26. stand to someone informal.
    to be useful to someone

    your knowledge of English will stand to you


  1. the act or an instance of standing
  2. an opinion, esp a resolutely held one

    he took a stand on capital punishment

  3. a halt or standstill
  4. a place where a person or thing stands
    1. a position on the floor of a shearing shed allocated to one shearer
    2. the shearing equipment belonging to such a position
  5. a structure, usually of wood, on which people can sit or stand
  6. a frame or rack on which such articles as coats and hats may be hung
  7. a small table or piece of furniture where articles may be placed or stored

    a music stand

  8. a supporting framework, esp for a tool or instrument
  9. a stall, booth, or counter from which goods may be sold
  10. an exhibition area in a trade fair
  11. a halt to give action, etc, esp one taken during a retreat and having some duration or some success
  12. cricket an extended period at the wicket by two batsmen
  13. a growth of plants in a particular area, esp trees in a forest or a crop in a field
  14. a stop made by a touring theatrical company, pop group, etc, to give a performance (esp in the phrase one-night stand )
  15. a plot or site earmarked for the erection of a building
  16. (of a gun dog) the act of pointing at game
  17. a complete set, esp of arms or armour for one man
  18. military the flags of a regiment

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Derived Forms

  • ˈstander, noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of stand1

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb stonde(n), stande(n), Old English standan, stondan; cognate with Old Saxon standan, Middle Dutch standen, Old High German stantan, standa, standan; akin to Latin stāre (intransitive) “to stand, stand up, be standing” sistere (transitive) “to make stand, set up, erect,” Greek histánai “to make stand,” Sanskrit sthā “to stand,” Old Irish at-tá “(he) is”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of stand1

Old English standan ; related to Old Norse standa , Old High German stantan , Latin stāre to stand; see stead

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. stand a chance / show, to have a chance or possibility, especially of winning or surviving:

    He's a good shortstop but doesn't stand a chance of making the major leagues because he can't hit.

  2. take the stand, to testify in a courtroom.
  3. stand pat. pat 2( def 6 ).
  4. stand to reason. reason ( def 19 ).

More idioms and phrases containing stand

  • can't stand the sight of
  • heart misses a beat (stands still)
  • (stand) in awe of
  • it stands to reason
  • know where one stands
  • make a stand
  • make one's hair stand on end
  • not have (stand) an earthly chance
  • take a stand
  • without a leg to stand on

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Synonym Study

See bear 1.

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Example Sentences

You know, we had the typical lemonade stands and selling cinnamon sticks and things like that.

OZY has reported that 70 percent of Gen Zers believe their lives need to make a difference in the world and 65 percent say it’s important for companies to take a stand on social issues.

From Ozy

This engine, situated off-center, powered the vehicle at a slight angle into the sky, where it moved several dozen meters laterally before descending and coming to rest near the launch stand.

One of the reasons I joined Levi Strauss is that this company has had for its entire 167 years a practice where the CEO is expected to take stands on important issues of the day.

From Fortune

We took a stand on it because it’s ripping the country apart.

From Fortune

To be a liberal, you have to stand up for liberal principles.

And with stand-ups, I remember liking George Carlin and Steve Martin.

Those opposing same-sex marriage are on their heels, and increasingly unwilling or unable to make a stand against it.

Spencer, 27,  is variously described as a writer and a stand-up comic.

Another read: “We need leaders who will stand against Common Core.”

She stood, in her young purity, at one end of the chain of years, and Mrs. Chepstow—did she really stand at the other?

But the liberal soul deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand.

All bribery, and injustice shall be blotted out, and fidelity shall stand for ever.

It is only necessary to have a zinc, or a galvanized tray on which to stand the glass in an inverted position.

Gold and silver make the feet stand sure: but wise counsel is above them both.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




stan culturestand a chance