\ ˈstan(d)-ˌdau̇n \

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


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

Curiosity has stood down from all science operations while the mission team investigates the problem. Mike Wall,, "Rover Team Confident Curiosity Will Bounce Back from Glitch," 22 Sep. 2018 Other outcomes could include a second referendum on Britain’s EU membership, a general election, or, if Mrs. May stands down, a race by other contenders like the opposition Labour Party to form a new government. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "The UK Prime Minister’s No-Confidence Vote Explained," 12 Dec. 2018 After engineers discovered an issue with the rocket's motor controller, the company stood down its launch attempt. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Firefly resurrected, World View accident, Bezos to talk space," 10 Aug. 2018 Trump, placated, agreed to the arrangement, and stood down. Murray Waas, Vox, "Exclusive: Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker was counseling the White House on investigating Clinton," 9 Nov. 2018 According to Sara tonight, multiple sources are saying that fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe issued a stand down order during the initial phases of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. Fox News, "Meadows, DeSantis on developments in FISA abuse probe," 24 Apr. 2018 The company at the end of September announced longtime Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche would stand down next year and be replaced by Mr. Källenius, its research-and-development chief. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "New Daimler CFO to Face Tough Questions as Company Transitions," 8 Oct. 2018 Rotem's advantage is that it can be called back and safely land for reuse if there's a need to stand down. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Israeli defense firm demos kamikaze drone bomb that can be called off," 18 July 2018 This is not the first major dust storm weathered by Opportunity, which landed on the Red Planet in January 2004: An even larger storm forced the rover to stand down for two weeks in 2007. Mike Wall,, "NASA's Curiosity Rover Is Tracking a Huge Dust Storm on Mars (Photo)," 12 June 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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