\ 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

But as far as your cyber response, you were told to stand down, is that correct? Fox News, "Rep. Goodlatte on what he wants to ask Peter Strzok, next steps for immigration," 24 June 2018 Neither side is willing to stand down unilaterally in an escalating war of words. The Economist, "American political rhetoric is sliding towards the sewer," 21 June 2018 The vote was symbolic: The nonbinding resolution carries with it no mechanism to make the president stand down. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Senate rebuke of Trump tariffs won't actually change anything," 12 July 2018 The district could ask crews to stand down on the other projects, the district said. Marci Shatzman,, "Boca Raton wins delay on plan to remove trees near residents' homes," 11 July 2018 Mayor Mark Farrell, who six months ago bested London Breed in the bid to be interim mayor, is now calling for the opposition to stand down and allow Mayor-elect Breed to run unopposed next year. Matier & Ross,, "Farrell calls for Breed to have clear field in next year’s mayor race," 8 July 2018 Yet neither Donald Trump nor Xi Jinping wants to look like the one standing down, so escalation is more likely than retreat. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "So Much Trade Losing," 6 July 2018 During the stand down, Rocket Lab decided to add a couple more satellites to the manifest for It’s Business Time. Loren Grush, The Verge, "US space startup Rocket Lab sets new date for first commercial launch," 25 May 2018 Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the favorite after LBJ stood down, was now assured of the nomination. Patrick J. Buchanan, WSJ, "With Nixon in ’68: The Year America Came Apart," 5 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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The first known use of stand-down was in 1681

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