\ 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

But top Republican lawmakers have urged Mr. Sessions to resist pressure to quit and have pushed Mr. Trump to stand down for now. Michael C. Bender, WSJ, "Trump Says Jeff Sessions Will Stay Through November Midterm Elections," 30 Aug. 2018 This season, when Mr. Wentz returned, Mr. Foles stood down without complaint and maintained unwavering support from the bench, even as the team lost six of its next 11 games. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Close the Hall of Fame, Cancel the MVP Award: There’s a Better Way," 27 Dec. 2018 In a tweet, the aerospace company said the team was standing down to run additional analyses on the guidance, navigation and control systems. Amina Khan,, "NASA's new spacecraft will remain on the launchpad until Wednesday as SpaceX conducts rocket tests," 16 Apr. 2018 Famous for his temper and forensic questioning, Richter then proceeded to make an extraordinary formal application to Wallington herself that she should be stood down from the case. Lucie Morris-marr, CNN, "Abuse hearing for Vatican treasurer Pell ends amid fiery accusations," 29 Mar. 2018 After Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., repeatedly called for Loomer to stand down in the hearing room, or else risk her removal, Loomer continued — which is when Long stepped in with a fast-talking auctioneer chant to drown her out. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Rep. Billy Long, an auctioneer, drowns out protester shouting at Twitter's Jack Dorsey during hearing," 6 Sep. 2018 In the 39th District, Democrats went beyond prodding underdogs like Ms. Tran, 52, to stand down. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Fearing Chaos, National Democrats Plunge Into Midterm Primary Fights," 21 Apr. 2018 Also, Trump’s personality, and his strategy, favors bold action, even when aides tell him to stand down. Sean Illing, Vox, "What does Michael Cohen’s plea deal mean for Trump? I asked 9 legal experts.," 29 Nov. 2018 The company, which launches out of a private site in New Zealand, has tried multiple times to fly this particular mission, but had to stand down after noticing some weird behavior with one of the rocket’s motor controllers. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch Rocket Lab try again to launch its first commercial mission to space," 10 Nov. 2018

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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Comments on stand-down

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a strong desire or propensity

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