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standoff

or stand-off

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

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.

adjective

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

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Origin of standoff

First recorded in 1830–40; noun, adj. use of verb phrase stand off
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for standoff

British Dictionary definitions for standoff

standoff
/ (ˈstændˌɒf) /

noun

verb stand off (adverb)

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 standoff

stand off

1

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.”

2

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

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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