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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use standoff in a sentence
The result was less a dramatic stand-off between humans and animals and more a strangely moving piece of performance art.
What followed, instead, was a year of inaction, culminating in a government shutdown and a stand-off over the fiscal cliff.The Deal Has Passed, But Don’t Hold Your Breath for Bipartisanship | Jamelle Bouie | December 13, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Indeed, if this was self-destructive, then provoking another stand-off—during an election year, no less—would be suicidal.
Obama said that right now he would focus American efforts on resolving the stand-off with Iran over its nuclear program.
A “Mexican stand-off” apparently ensued before the police realized who Andrew was.Security Farce At Palace As Prince Andrew Stopped By Police After Break-In | Tom Sykes | September 9, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
But no serious damage was done, and the bombardment ended in a stand-off between the two sides.Historic Adventures | Rupert S. Holland
It's been what you might call a stand-off for a good many years.The Skipper and the Skipped | Holman Day
The two shook hands, and Elizabeth thought the girl's manner a little stand-off, and wondered why.Elizabeth's Campaign | Mrs. Humphrey Ward
You looked so supercilious and stand-off-the-grass like that I couldn't bring myself to it at all.The Harlequin Opal, Vol. 1 (of 3) | Fergus Hume
I'm quite sure that a man who is genial and nice gets his work done ever so much better than do those stand-off fellows.Jack Archer | G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for standoff
US and Canadian the act or an instance of standing off or apart
a deadlock or stalemate
any situation or disposition of forces that counterbalances or neutralizes
rugby short for stand-off half
(intr) to navigate a vessel so as to avoid the shore, an obstruction, etc
(tr) to keep or cause to keep at a distance
(intr) to reach a deadlock or stalemate
(tr) to dismiss (workers), esp temporarily
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 standoff
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.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.