\ 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

She was told to stand down and never again speak to Schmidt. James Bandler, ProPublica, "How Amazon and Silicon Valley Seduced the Pentagon," 22 Aug. 2019 People in the political middle are calling on friends and organisations to come together—forming a broad alliance across the political divide to urge protesters to stand down, leave their weapons at the door and start a dialogue of reconciliation. The Economist, "Hong Kongers want and deserve a fair society," 20 Aug. 2019 Last year, the service branch stood down for a day to focus on safety after a number of fatal plane crashes. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "The US Air Force has ordered a one-day stand down to address a growing suicide problem," 1 Aug. 2019 Once the man and his watercraft were safely aboard the freighter, the Coast Guard stood down, Haraf said. Adelie Bergstrom, Twin Cities, "Man rescued after he attempted to ride Jet Ski to Isle Royale," 16 July 2019 The Crips are standing down on a possible legal fight and apologizing to the family of late rapper Nipsey Hussle, according to The Blast. Ale Russian,, "Crips Gang Won't Fight Late Nipsey Hussle's Family for Phrase Trademark: Report," 4 July 2019 If so, SpaceX could be forced to stand down until after a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket takes off Thursday morning from nearby pad 41. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX Falcon 9 set to launch Israeli satellite, 3 years after explosion destroyed first one," 6 Aug. 2019 Commanders must pick a day to stand down during the next six weeks. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "The US Air Force has ordered a one-day stand down to address a growing suicide problem," 1 Aug. 2019 The Times quoted a senior administration official as saying the operation was under way in its early stages — with planes in the air and ships in position — when word came to stand down. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Iran strikes called off, Facebook's rapid response team & Zion is No.1: The Morning Rundown," 21 June 2019

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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concealment of treason or felony

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