Definition of standoff
Origin of standoff
Words nearby standoff
MORE ABOUT STANDOFF
What does standoff mean?
Such a standoff often involves two or more opposing sides that refuse to budge, back down, or change their position. A political standoff is one in which both sides refuse to come to an agreement or compromise on some policy or course of action. In the context of policing, the word standoff refers to a situation in which a person refuses to be arrested but is keeping police away by threatening violence.
In movies, the tense moment when two characters are pointing weapons at each other and waiting for the other to make a move is often called a standoff.
Standoff can also refer to what happens when a game or other competition ends in a tie or without a winner being declared.
Much less commonly, standoff can be used as an adjective to mean aloof, reserved, or unfriendly, as in The hostess greeted us in a distant, standoff manner. The adjective standoffish is more commonly used to mean the same thing.
Standoff is sometimes hyphenated, as stand-off.
Example: The old enemies stared at each other in a tense standoff, both of them refusing to give an inch.
Where does standoff come from?
The first records of the term standoff come from the 1830s. It comes from the verb phrase stand off, which means to maintain a distance or to reach a stalemate.
The word standoff is often used in the context of tense or seemingly hopeless situations in which two opposing sides are not willing to negotiate or change their positions even a little. It’s especially used in the contexts of politics and policing.
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What are some other forms related to standoff?
- stand-off (alternate, hyphenated spelling)
What are some synonyms for standoff?
What are some words that share a root or word element with standoff?
What are some words that often get used in discussing standoff?
How is standoff used in real life?
Standoff is especially used in the contexts of politics and policing.
I just found out after a 10 month standoff, my mom finally agreed to call my baby nephew by his name. She thought his name was stupid and had a one person protest to change it.
— Solomon Georgio (@solomongeorgio) October 16, 2020
I accidentally scared my niece with a roomba earlier and she has now decided to have a standoff with it for 5 mins
— Evvy 🎈🎈🎈 (@Evvobevvo) November 12, 2020
The legendary standoff that shook the multiverse! 😎 pic.twitter.com/K8vtSLrQuJ
— HololiveEnMemes (@HololiveMemes) November 27, 2020
Try using standoff!
Is standoff used correctly in the following sentence?
It was a close match, and it ended in a standoff, with neither side being able to secure victory.
How to use standoff in a sentence
Notably, many moderates upset with Pelosi have refused to call her out by name – and make it a point criticize both GOP and Democratic leaders for the coronavirus talk standoff.Trump moves closer to Pelosi in economic aid talks, and House speaker must decide next move|Rachael Bade, Erica Werner|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
The proposed partnership, floated over the weekend, had seemed an ingenious solution for extricating the app, which counts more than 100 million American users, from a high-stakes standoff between Washington and Beijing.Trump suddenly turns against TikTok’s delicate deal|claychandler|September 17, 2020|Fortune
Its continued connected TV distribution standoffs with Amazon and Roku.As AT&T considers downsizing its media business, whither WarnerMedia?|Tim Peterson|September 2, 2020|Digiday
It could even come down to an old-fashioned standoff bidding war on the floor of the City Council chambers.
The standoff between NBCU and the CTV platforms resembles the distribution disputes between traditional pay-TV providers and TV networks.Shut out of Fire TV and Roku, Peacock is the latest example of the arrival power moves to streaming|Tim Peterson|July 15, 2020|Digiday
He was threatening to immolate both of them when police ended a standoff by grabbing him.Indiana Serial Killer’s Confession Was Just the Start|Michael Daly|October 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The two countries were eyeball to eyeball in a tense standoff for almost a year.
Ex-MMA fighter Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller live-tweeted a standoff with police over domestic violence charges.The MMA Fighters Have Gone Crazy: ‘Mayhem’ Miller the Latest in a Long Line of Psycho Pugilists|Robert Silverman|October 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Faced with this opponent, the United States has a variety of military options for using its aerial and standoff firepower.
We saw this during the recent standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officers.Home-Grown, Right-Wing Terrorism: The Hate the GOP Refuses to See|Dean Obeidallah|June 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There should not be too fine a point, however, in belaboring differences with the other examples in this regard over standoff.Shock and Awe|Harlan K. Ullman
It was a standoff, by my cooking and doing other camp duties and marketing our products.The Adventures of Two Alabama Boys|H. J. Crumpton and Washington Bryan Crumpton
My bosses they all like me, they say I am hard to beat; I give them the bold standoff, you bet I have got the cheek.Cowboy Songs|Various
But the court will know that you have as much interest in lying as I have, and itll just be a standoff.The Radio Boys at Mountain Pass|Allen Chapman
She was as plucky as any thing, and was putting up a great standoff when we got in our licks.Three Little Women|Gabrielle E. Jackson
British Dictionary definitions for standoff
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.”
Put off, keep away, as in The police stood off the angry strikers. [Second half of 1800s]