\ 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

Though the Shining Path had once surged to hold whole regions around Ayacucho, once the army stood down, the balance of power shifted and the guerrillas moved their stronghold to Lima. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "A Jagged Scrap of History," 24 June 2019 There was every indication the U.S. was about to launch a limited strike against Iranian surface-to-air missile sites on Thursday evening, but the military stood down at the 11th hour. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Top Democrat on House Armed Services says Trump "legitimately torn" on Iran response," 23 June 2019 May is about to stand down and what happens next is anyone's guess. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Trump wants to do a 'phenomenal' trade deal with Britain. That won't be easy," 5 June 2019 And hundreds of thousands are expected at a rally in Prague on Sunday to urge the populist billionaire to stand down. Karel Janicek,, "Prague set to see biggest protests since Velvet Revolution," 22 June 2019 Many moderates who previously rejected the president are now embracing him after seeing their colleagues who have criticized them — including Flake — ultimately be forced to stand down. Emily Stewart, Vox, "McCain is hanging over Arizona’s primaries, even though his seat isn’t on the ballot," 27 Aug. 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near stand-down


stand by

stand down





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Time Traveler for stand-down

The first known use of stand-down was in 1681

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