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.
kept readily available for use in an emergency, shortage, or the like: a standby player.
of or relating to last-minute accommodations, the transport that offers them, or a traveler who is waiting for them: a standby flight.
of or relating to a waiting period.
Idioms about standby
on standby, in a state of readiness to act, respond, or be used immediately when needed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use standby in a sentence
“In the end, she was a Kennedy-stand-by-your-man gal,” said producer B. J. Rack, who had worked on two films with Schwarzenegger.
As a founding member of JStreet, Peratis could have left her stereotypical beliefs about settlers for once on stand-by mode.
Interestingly, Sinclair remains stunningly untarnished in France over her devout stand-by-her-man stance.DSK's Wife Says She Will Head French Version of the Huffington Post | Eric Pape | December 22, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
This alternative arrangement was a stand-by in case of breakdown of the steam pipes to these engines.Loss of the Steamship 'Titanic' | British Government
At last the maneuver was completed and the engines shut down to stand-by.The Status Civilization | Robert Sheckley
The standard tap and the first and second stand-by taps were no longer tapping power from the main generators.Unwise Child | Gordon Randall Garrett
"I betche the boys ain't gitting enough old stand-by-yuh chuck," he decided at length.The Happy Family | Bertha Muzzy Bower
The two men eagerly lighted one each, and then, taking a few more as a stand-by, proceeded to explore.A Chinese Command | Harry Collingwood
British Dictionary definitions for stand by
(intr, adverb) to be available and ready to act if needed or called upon
(intr, adverb) to be present as an onlooker or without taking any action: he stood by at the accident
(intr, preposition) to be faithful to: to stand by one's principles
(tr, adverb) English law (of the Crown) to challenge (a juror) without needing to show cause
a person or thing that is ready for use or can be relied on in an emergency
(as modifier): stand-by provisions
on stand-by in a state of readiness for action or use
(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
Other Idioms and Phrases with standby
Be ready or available to act, as in I'm almost ready for you to carve the turkey, so please stand by. [Mid-1200s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.