standby

or stand-by

[ stand-bahy ]
/ ˈstændˌbaɪ /

noun, plural stand·bys.

a staunch supporter or adherent; one who can be relied upon.
something upon which one can rely and therefore choose or use regularly.
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.
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

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Idioms for standby

    on standby, in a state of readiness to act, respond, or be used immediately when needed.

Origin of standby

First recorded in 1790–1800; noun, adj. use of verb phrase stand by
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for standby

stand by

verb

noun stand-by

  1. a person or thing that is ready for use or can be relied on in an emergency
  2. (as modifier)stand-by provisions
on stand-by in a state of readiness for action or use

adjective

(of an airline passenger, fare, or seat) not booked in advance but awaiting or subject to availability
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

Idioms and Phrases with standby

stand by

1

Be ready or available to act, as in I'm almost ready for you to carve the turkey, so please stand by. [Mid-1200s]

2

Wait for something to resume, as in We are all standing by until the power is restored. Also see on standby.

3

Be present but remain uninvolved, refrain from acting, as in I can't stand by and see these kids shoplifting. [Late 1300s]

4

Remain loyal, as in She's my friend and I'll stand by her, no matter what. [Early 1500s] Also see stick by.

5

Adhere to, abide by, as in I'm going to stand by what I said yesterday. [Late 1300s]

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