\ 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 after about a half-hour of debate, which played out on body camera footage obtained by The Baltimore Sun, law enforcement decided to stand down and let services continue. Christine Condon,, 4 June 2021 But the city must stand down the shelter and return the Sullivan to its original purpose by the end of September. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 21 May 2021 For both Israel and Hamas, crafting a victory narrative is a crucial prelude to any move to stand down. Hana Salah, Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2021 Despite agents reporting gunfire, Leonnig writes they were told by superiors to stand down. Edward Segal, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Kennedy, of course, had forced the USSR to stand down. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 16 Apr. 2021 After initially resisting, Paterson agreed to stand down. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2021 In March, the Anchorage Assembly passed a resolution requesting that the acting mayor’s administration come up with a transition plan to stand down the shelter. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 7 May 2021 Kyiv would like Washington to supply it with more military aid, but some experts said what would help Ukraine more would be a unified political strategy with European allies aimed at raising the international pressure on Moscow to stand down. Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for stand-down

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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 20 Jun. 2021.

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