\ 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 Even the Internet mob is asking Crump to stand down. Tyler Foggatt, The New Yorker, "Who Is the Floyd Family’s Lawyer?," 15 June 2020 Who will stand down, who will flinch, who will cross the line, who will get hit? Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Horrified by strife in my America, finding hope in my Mideast," 5 June 2020 Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin appeared at the park, and using a bullhorn next to Johnson, asked the crowd to stand down. Anna Beahm |, al, "Protesters trying to take down Confederate monument in Birmingham," 1 June 2020 The Obama Administration worked unsuccessfully to persuade the Kremlin since May of 2013 to stand down the program. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "Pentagon Tests New Missile System, Weeks After a U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Treaty Collapsed," 21 Aug. 2019 Crude sank following a US statement that no personnel had been killed and as President Donald Trump said Iran appeared to be standing down. Grant Smith,, "Oil drops below $60 after Iran appears to be ‘standing down’," 8 Jan. 2020 Gaid Salah also called for the president, whose administration was mired in corruption, to stand down. Aomar Ouali, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Algeria army chief orders clampdown on protesters," 18 Sep. 2019 Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh was on the circuit court panel that heard the case in 2018 but stood down once he was nominated to the high court. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court won't hear Catholic Church challenge to ban on religious advertising," 6 Apr. 2020 The exchange sparked fears of a new Middle East war, but both sides then stood down. Washington Post, "Poll: Many in US support Trump decision to kill Iran general," 24 Jan. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Stand-down.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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