\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

The judge ordered Skybox pay a $10,000 fine to operate those events, and the city stood down. Anna Orso,, "Fishtown venue shuts down weeks before weddings, and couples now out thousands of dollars," 9 May 2018 However some protesters believe the announcement by the president is too little, too late, and are demanding that Ortega stand down. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department report," 30 Apr. 2018 The 67-year-old cleric stood down from his position as archbishop days after he was convicted. Rod Mcguirk,, "Archbishop refuses to resign as he appeals conviction for protecting pedophile," 4 July 2018 The 67-year-old cleric stood down from his position as archbishop days after he was convicted. Rod Mcguirk,, "Australia bishop appeals conviction for protecting pedophile," 4 July 2018 Obama cyber chief confirms 'stand down' order against Russian cyberattacks. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Remembering Charles Krauthammer; Melania's fashion 'statement' sparks 'fake news' frenzy," 22 June 2018 So with that in mind, trouser historians — please stand down. Michael Austin,, "For the Fourth, drink American: Syrah, pinot, grenache and a vineyard full of other U.S. wines," 28 June 2018 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

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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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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