or stand-off

[stand-awf, -of]
See more synonyms for standoff on
  1. a standing off or apart; aloofness.
  2. a tie or draw, as in a game.
  3. something that counterbalances.
  4. a prop for holding the top of a ladder away from the vertical surface against which it is leaning.
  5. Electricity. an insulator that supports a conductor above a surface.
  1. 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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


  1. US and Canadian the act or an instance of standing off or apart
  2. a deadlock or stalemate
  3. any situation or disposition of forces that counterbalances or neutralizes
  4. rugby short for stand-off half
verb stand off (adverb)
  1. (intr) to navigate a vessel so as to avoid the shore, an obstruction, etc
  2. (tr) to keep or cause to keep at a distance
  3. (intr) to reach a deadlock or stalemate
  4. (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