Dictionary.com

standby

or stand-by

[ stand-bahy ]
/ ˈstændˌbaɪ /
Save This Word!

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
QUIZ
SPRINT TO THE FINISH WITH THIS OLYMPICS QUIZ!
Compete in our Olympics quiz to see if you can take home the gold medal in Olympics knowledge.
Question 1 of 10
Where was the Olympics first held?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Idioms about 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. 2021

How to use standby in a sentence

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

Other 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.
FEEDBACK