Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

on standby

Definition of on standby

  1. 1 :  ready or available for immediate action or use <The police officers were put on standby.>

  2. 2 :  ready to travel if a ticket becomes available <We're on standby for the next flight to Boston.>

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  one to be relied on especially in emergencies

    :  a favorite or reliable choice or resource

    :  one that is held in reserve ready for use :  substitute

  1. :  held near at hand and ready for use

    :  relating to the act or condition of standing by

    :  of, relating to, or traveling by an airline service in which the passenger must wait for an available unreserved seat

  1. :  on a standby basis

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up on standby? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


in the capacity or character of

Get Word of the Day daily email!