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

Idioms

    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

Definition for stand by (2 of 2)

Origin of stand

before 900; Middle English standen (v.), Old English standan; cognate with Old Saxon standan, Middle Dutch standen, Old High German stantan, standa, standan; akin to Latin stāre to stand, sistere, Greek histánai to make stand, Sanskrit sthā to stand, Old Irish at-tá (he) is

Synonym study

25. See bear1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for stand by (1 of 2)

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

British Dictionary definitions for stand by (2 of 2)

stand

/ (stænd) /

verb stands, standing or stood (mainly intr)

noun

Derived Formsstander, noun

Word Origin for stand

Old English standan; related to Old Norse standa, Old High German stantan, Latin stāre to stand; see stead
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 stand by (1 of 2)

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]

Idioms and Phrases with stand by (2 of 2)

stand


In addition to the idioms beginning with stand

  • stand a chance
  • stand at ease
  • stand by
  • stand corrected
  • stand down
  • stand fast
  • stand for
  • stand guard
  • stand in awe
  • stand in for
  • standing joke
  • standing on one's head
  • stand in good stead
  • standing order
  • stand off
  • stand on
  • stand one's ground
  • stand on one's own feet
  • stand out
  • stand over
  • stand pat
  • stand still for
  • stand the gaff
  • stand the sight of
  • stand to reason
  • stand up
  • stand up and be counted
  • stand up for
  • stand up to
  • stand up with

also see:

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