\ ˈstan(d)-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce stand-down (audio) \

Definition of stand-down

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a relaxation of status of a military unit or force from an alert or operational posture

stand down

stood down; standing down; stands down

Definition of stand down (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to leave the witness stand
2 chiefly British
a : to go off duty
b : to withdraw from a contest, a position of leadership, or a state of alert or readiness

transitive verb

: to remove from active duty In December of 1944, it was judged safe to stand down the Home Guard … after four and a half years of guarding Britain against invasion.— Anthony Bailey

Examples of stand-down in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Although they are brutalized by the Weboys' intimidation tactics, the Blackledges won’t stand down. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Lesley Manville, Diane Lane heighten well-plotted, soapy Western family noir ‘Let Him Go’ (review)," 4 Nov. 2020 Although they are brutalized by the Weboys’ intimidation tactics, the Blackledges won’t stand down. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, "Review: A determined Diane Lane and a campy Lesley Manville elevate ‘Let Him Go’," 4 Nov. 2020 The company will now stand down for 48 hours to address the issue, which would allow for SpaceX to attempt a launch of a GPS III satellite for the Space Force on Thursday. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "It’s a NRO-go for an Atlas V launch on Wednesday night [Updated]," 4 Nov. 2020 The odds that either side will stand down as graciously as Al Gore did are slim. David Meyer, Fortune, "Brace yourselves for the coming days," 2 Nov. 2020 The truth is that Democratic mayors have played a dangerous game in ordering the police to stand down. David Bromwich, Harper's Magazine, "Is America Ungovernable?," 27 Oct. 2020 Then-Police Chief Walt Vasquez — who would later announce his retirement — on several occasions denied that there had been any direction from the mayor or city manager for public safety members to stand down. Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Five months later, La Mesa mayor still grapples with riot’s aftermath," 25 Oct. 2020 Senate President Ahmad Lawan, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, called on protesters to stand down in light of the steps leaders had taken. Reuters, CNN, "Nigerian police pledge ICRC training as thousands protest nationwide," 19 Oct. 2020 The entire Eagle River High School sports and activities program is under a 48-hour stand down, effective immediately, due to multiple players or participants testing positive for COVID-19 or being identified as close contacts. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Party leads to shutdown of Eagle River High School weekend activities as football team starts quarantine," 9 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stand-down.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stand-down


circa 1919, in the meaning defined above


1681, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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The first known use of stand-down was in 1681

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Cite this Entry

“Stand-down.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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