- 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.
- 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. 2018
Examples from the Web for standby
That's why medical teams, replete with Life Flight helicopters, are always on standby at tour events.The World Series of Cliff Diving Takes Itself Very Seriously
June 29, 2014
Daniel Schachner, the actor playing the referee for Puppy Bowl X, waits on standby to help out on the field.‘The Puppy Bowl’: The Super Bowl’s Fiercest Rival
February 2, 2014
Ballard had Lottie Jackson and the ambulance crew “on standby,” in case the jury wanted them.The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis
Richard Ben Cramer
January 11, 2014
So while the Republican race is in full throttle, the Democrats are left in standby mode.Democratic Presidential Contenders Stay in the Shadows
May 26, 2013
They would rather you not think of devices in standby mode and would rather make that extension cord as invisible as possible.The Internet Won’t Save Us: Evgeny Morozov’s Stand Against Technology Solutionism
March 5, 2013
So the apple came early to be a standby on the new continent.The Apple-Tree
L. H. Bailey
Irish potatoes are expensive, as most of this standby is imported.Seven Legs Across the Seas
That's all you need to clear you of rescue and standby responsibility.Spillthrough
Daniel F. Galouye
A standby pattern lighted the screen, and I stared at it numbly.Backlash
He had no trade as a standby; his whole endowment was his youth and his wits.In Clive's Command