standoff

or stand-off

[stand-awf, -of]

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.

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. 2019

Related Words for standoff

impasse, deadlock, stalemate, wash, level

Examples from the Web for standoff

Contemporary Examples of standoff

Historical Examples of standoff


British Dictionary definitions for standoff

standoff

noun

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

verb stand off (adverb)

(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