or stand-off

[ stand-awf, -of ]
/ ˈstændˌɔf, -ˌɒf /


a standing off or apart; aloofness.
a tie or draw, as in a game.
something that counterbalances.
a prop for holding the top of a ladder away from the vertical surface against which it is leaning.
Electricity. an insulator that supports a conductor above a surface.


standing off or apart; aloof; reserved: an uncordial and standoff manner.

Origin of standoff

First recorded in 1830–40; noun, adj. use of verb phrase stand off

Definition for stand off (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 for stand

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

British Dictionary definitions for stand off (1 of 2)

/ (ˈstændˌɒf) /


verb stand off (adverb)

British Dictionary definitions for stand off (2 of 2)

/ (stænd) /

verb stands, standing or stood (mainly intr)


Derived forms of stand

stander, 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 off (1 of 2)

stand off


Stay at a distance, remain apart, as in Carol stood off from the others. [First half of 1600s] This usage gave rise to the adjective standoffish for “aloof” or “reserved in a haughty way.”


Put off, keep away, as in The police stood off the angry strikers. [Second half of 1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with stand off (2 of 2)


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.