a state of cessation of movement or action; halt; stop: The ball rolled to a standstill.

Origin of standstill

First recorded in 1695–1705; noun use of verb phrase stand still Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for standstill

Contemporary Examples of standstill

Historical Examples of standstill

  • And I think he's going to whipsaw the market to a standstill this time, for sure.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I've seen some fresh kids playin' the horses, but he had 'em all beat to a standstill.


    W. A. Fraser

  • But we had an accident, now, and it fetched all the plans to a standstill.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Only then is the engine working on its bed-plate brought to a standstill.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • There was a train in front of us at a standstill, with a broken brake, and the line had to be cleared.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

British Dictionary definitions for standstill



a complete cessation of movement; stop; haltthe car came to a standstill
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

Word Origin and History for standstill

"state of cessation of movement," 1702, from stand (v.) + still (adv.). Earlier the notion would have been expressed simply by stand.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

standstill in Medicine




Complete cessation of activity or progress.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with standstill


see come to a halt (standstill).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.