1 of 2


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

stand down

2 of 2


stood down; standing down; stands down

intransitive verb

: to leave the witness stand
chiefly British
: to go off duty
: 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
The Marine Corps acting commandant, Eric Smith, on Monday issued a two-day stand-down to take place at some point this week for all aviation units both inside and outside of the United States, a spokesman told ABC News. Ellie Kaufman, ABC News, 18 Sep. 2023 The decision to stand-down all aircraft also comes after two deadly Marine Corps crashes last month. Phil McCausland, NBC News, 18 Sep. 2023 Military officials in April ordered a 24-hour stand-down of all aviation units following two deadly mid-air helicopter collisions within 30 days. Matt Seyler, ABC News, 13 June 2023 In response to both incidents, the Army issued a service-wide stand-down for aviation units to complete mandatory safety training. Louis Casiano, Fox News, 3 May 2023 Army leadership on Friday ordered an aviation stand-down after two fatal helicopter crashes, the most recent of which killed three soldiers and injured a fourth in Alaska on Thursday. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 29 Apr. 2023 Army National Guard and Reserve units will have until May 31 to carry out their stand-downs. Luis Martinez, ABC News, 28 Apr. 2023
The Senate now returns with Schumer promising a vote on that resolution before the year is out if Tuberville doesn't stand down. Allison Pecorin, ABC News, 27 Nov. 2023 The caucus, in the end, forced Jordan to stand down. Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2023 The planned 150-bed East Anchorage shelter and navigation center is one of five parts of the city’s plan to stand down its COVID-19-era emergency mass care operations at Sullivan Arena and noncongregate shelters while expanding longer-term homelessness services in Anchorage. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Aug. 2023 As a group, this category of workers stands to benefit the most from the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case — and Disney’s decision to stand down. Gabriel San Román, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2023 Henry founded production company Douglas Road in 2014 and will stand down as CEO to focus on Esmerelda. Douglas Road Productions will continue to be run by managing director Angela Ferreira. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 23 Oct. 2023 In response, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered a Pentagon-wide stand down to discuss extremism within the ranks. Hanna Krueger,, 15 July 2023 Marine aircraft deployed abroad or with upcoming missions were able to briefly delay the order, but they are expected to stand down for two days this week, officials said. Chantal Da Silva, NBC News, 19 Sep. 2023 Despite Chinese-government pressure, and the White House’s reluctance to disrupt its ongoing talks with Beijing, Congress is not likely to stand down from taking legislative action to address the likely threat of ... Jimmy Quinn, National Review, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stand-down.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1916, in the meaning defined above


1651, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stand-down was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near stand-down

stand down



Cite this Entry

“Stand-down.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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