noun, plural stand·bys.
Origin of standby
verb (used without object), stood, stand·ing.
- to take or hold a particular course at sea.
- to move in a certain direction: to stand offshore.
verb (used with object), stood, stand·ing.
noun, plural stands for 28–49, stands or, esp. after a numeral, stand for 50.
- to uphold; support: She stood by him whenever he was in trouble.
- to adhere to (an agreement, promise, etc.); affirm: She stood by her decision despite her sister's arguments.
- to stand ready; wait: Please stand by while I fix this antenna.
- to get ready to speak, act, etc., as at the beginning of a radio or television program.
- to be ready to board a plane, train, or other transport if accommodations become available at the last minute.
- Law.to leave the witness stand.
- to step aside; withdraw, as from a competition: I agreed to stand down so that she could run for the nomination unopposed.
- to leave or take out of active work or service: to stand down some of the ships in the fleet.
- to represent; symbolize: P.S. stands for “postscript.”
- to advocate; favor: He stands for both freedom and justice.
- Informal.to tolerate; allow: I won't stand for any nonsense!
- to be in association or conspiracy with.
- to enjoy the favor of; be on friendly terms with.
- to keep or stay at a distance.
- to put off; evade.
- to depend on; rest on: The case stands on his testimony.
- to be particular about; demand: to stand on ceremony.
- Nautical.to maintain a course and speed.
- to project; protrude: The piers stand out from the harbor wall.
- to be conspicuous or prominent: She stands out in a crowd.
- to persist in opposition or resistance; be inflexible.
- Nautical.to maintain a course away from shore.
- to supervise very closely; watch constantly: He won't work unless someone stands over him.
- to put aside temporarily; postpone: to let a project stand over until the following year.
- to continue to hold; persist in: to stand to one's statement.
- to keep at steadily: Stand to your rowing, men!
- to wait in readiness; stand by: Stand to for action.
- to come to or remain in a standing position: to stand up when being introduced.
- to remain strong, convincing, or durable: The case will never stand up in court. Wool stands up better than silk.
- 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.
- to defend the cause of; support: No one could understand why he stood up for an incorrigible criminal.
- to serve a bridegroom or bride, as best man or maid (matron) of honor.
Origin of stand
Synonyms for stand
- a person or thing that is ready for use or can be relied on in an emergency
- (as modifier)stand-by provisions
verb stands, standing or stood (mainly intr)
- to remain motionless
- (foll by for) USto tolerateI won't stand still for your threats
- a position on the floor of a shearing shed allocated to one shearer
- the shearing equipment belonging to such a position
Word Origin for stand
Old English standan (class VI strong verb; past tense stod, past participle standen), from Proto-Germanic *sta-n-d- (cf. Old Norse standa, Old Saxon and Gothic standan, Old High German stantan, Swedish stå, Dutch staan, German stehen), from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).
Sense of "to exist, be present" is attested from c.1300. Meaning "to pay for as a treat" is from 1821. Phrase stands to reason (1620) is from earlier stands (is constant) with reason. Phrase stand pat is originally from poker (1882); stand down in the military sense of "go off duty" is first recorded 1916. Standing ovation attested by 1968; standing army is from c.1600.
"pause, delay," Old English, from the root of stand (v.). Meaning "place of standing, position" is from c.1300; figurative sense is from 1590s. Sense of "action of standing or coming to a position" is attested from late 14c., especially in reference to fighting. Meaning "raised platform for a hunter or sportsman" is attested from c.1400.
Sense of "stall or booth" is first recorded c.1500. Military meaning "complete set" (of arms, colors, etc.) is from 1721, often a collective singular. Sense of "standing growth of trees" is 1868, American English. Theatrical sense of "each stop made on a performance tour" is from 1896. The word was formerly also slang for "an erection" (1867).
Be ready or available to act, as in I'm almost ready for you to carve the turkey, so please stand by. [Mid-1200s]
Wait for something to resume, as in We are all standing by until the power is restored. Also see on standby.
Be present but remain uninvolved, refrain from acting, as in I can't stand by and see these kids shoplifting. [Late 1300s]
Remain loyal, as in She's my friend and I'll stand by her, no matter what. [Early 1500s] Also see stick by.
Adhere to, abide by, as in I'm going to stand by what I said yesterday. [Late 1300s]
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
- 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