\ 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 The band made a public plea that U2 ask their label to stand down. Michael Friedrich, The New Republic, 3 May 2022 How can a religious leader with any integrity support so brutal a war, and might another leader—Pope Francis, with whom Kirill entered into dialogue in 2016—persuade him to withdraw his support and urge Putin to stand down? Paul Elie, The New Yorker, 21 Apr. 2022 In an evening call with Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), Biden asked the Democratic leaders to stand down on the legislation, which still included the trade restrictions. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2022 For years, residents and the city have fought project developer Sand Hill Property Co. to stand down on the project. Gwendolyn Wu, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Mar. 2022 The Cuban Missile Crisis is depicted in American lore as an unmitigated success for the U.S. since the Soviets eventually decided not to stand down in the face of a U.S. embargo of the island. Daniel Depetris, National Review, 23 Mar. 2022 But that means China also, has major leverage toward pushing Russia to stand down. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2022 During the meeting in Moscow, the men sat across an absurdly long marble table, as Macron tried to persuade Putin to stand down. Rebecca Rosenberg, Fox News, 28 Feb. 2022 Ukrainian officials, meanwhile, have highlighted stories of guards refusing to stand down. Tara Law, Time, 25 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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 2 Jul. 2022.

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