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.
Idioms about standby
on standby, in a state of readiness to act, respond, or be used immediately when needed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use standby in a sentence
To make sure it has them, Ravenswood and other New York stations collect “capacity payments” just for keeping their turbines on standby, as a kind of insurance policy for the days of highest demand.At New York City’s biggest power plant, a switch to clean energy will help a neighborhood breathe easier | Andrew Blum | February 2, 2021 | Popular-Science
Glover sent in two civil-disturbance units and kept a third on standby.How battered D.C. police made a stand against the Capitol mob | Peter Hermann | January 15, 2021 | Washington Post
Look through the huge data bases of breached personal information and you’ll find the most popular options are simple phrases like “12345” and even the old standby, “password.”
A key part of the safety protocol is the commands team members issue, such as “standby,” when co-workers need to move away from equipment preparing to move, and “clear,” when they need to stand still, facing the moving equipment.A Temp Worker Died on the Job After FedEx Didn’t Fix a Known Hazard. The Fine: $7,000. | by Wendi C. Thomas, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism | December 23, 2020 | ProPublica
Even new ways of doing testing are going to start to show up, but mostly that’ll be valuable for the next pandemic, where we will make the investments and have people on standby to do far, far better than we did this time.Reshaping COVID, Capitalism and Tech With Bill Gates | Nick Fouriezos | December 9, 2020 | Ozy
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 | Hampton Stevens | June 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Daniel Schachner, the actor playing the referee for Puppy Bowl X, waits on standby to help out on the field.
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 | THE DAILY BEAST
So while the Republican race is in full throttle, the Democrats are left in standby mode.Democratic Presidential Contenders Stay in the Shadows | David Catanese | May 26, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Robert Herritt | March 5, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
When he had been with Ament little more than a year Sam had become office favorite and chief standby.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete | Albert Bigelow Paine
The wreck of the Clyde was once more our standby, providing a suitable length of chain and four shackles.The Home of the Blizzard | Douglas Mawson
So Joes dismay at the thought of Jim, his main standby, letting down in his efficiency was amply justified.Baseball Joe, Captain of the Team | Lester Chadwick
I dilute with a few drops of water a little Liebig's extract, that precious standby of the kitchen.The Life of the Fly | J. Henri Fabre
They prove unmistakably that his standby was the grain crops grown on the open fields.The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century | Richard Henry Tawney
British Dictionary definitions for stand by
(intr, adverb) to be available and ready to act if needed or called upon
(intr, adverb) to be present as an onlooker or without taking any action: he stood by at the accident
(intr, preposition) to be faithful to: to stand by one's principles
(tr, adverb) English law (of the Crown) to challenge (a juror) without needing to show cause
a person or thing that is ready for use or can be relied on in an emergency
(as modifier): stand-by provisions
on stand-by in a state of readiness for action or use
(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
Be ready or available to act, as in I'm almost ready for you to carve the turkey, so please stand by. [Mid-1200s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.