stand·​still | \ ˈstan(d)-ˌstil How to pronounce standstill (audio) \

Definition of standstill

: a state characterized by absence of motion or of progress : stop brought traffic to a standstill

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Examples of standstill in a Sentence

The accident brought traffic to a standstill. battled each other to a standstill

Recent Examples on the Web

In 1995 Jacques Chirac’s government shelved his attempt to reform the system after weeks of protests and strikes brought Paris to a standstill. The Economist, "Another French president tries pension reform," 12 Sep. 2019 The rare crime, allegedly, brought downtown to a standstill after a van with bins of gasoline in a parking garage led authorities to evacuate several buildings near the Inner Harbor on Monday afternoon. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Fuel theft rare in Maryland, comptroller’s office says. Also, Maryland sees two alleged fuel thefts in same day.," 10 Sep. 2019 By gridlocking traffic and blocking trains and buses, protesters sought to once again bring one of the world’s busiest aviation hubs to a standstill after chaotic action there last month captured global attention. Time Staff, Time, "Protesters Storm Hong Kong International Airport and Disrupt Transport Links," 1 Sep. 2019 If a baseball season can be viewed as a smooth sail across calm waters until season's end, 1981 was a turbulent storm that shook players, fans and the league to a standstill. Marc Bona,, "’1981 Revealed’ captures Cleveland, the All-Star Game and Barker’s perfect game," 26 Aug. 2019 The Casper Star-Tribune reported that a family member caught the scene on video on Aug. 13 after the animals brought traffic to a standstill. USA TODAY, "Rocket’s last blast, Alaska drought, million-dollar ham: News from around our 50 states," 23 Aug. 2019 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has followed his journey through the court system since last September, as the Army veteran’s life ground to a standstill until the court case against him was resolved., "A look at the justice system through one man's story," 21 Aug. 2019 Kristian Thacker for The New York Times CUMBERLAND, Ky. — A little after 4 p.m. on Friday, four hulking big-rig cabs, facing each other in pairs and taking up both lanes, brought the Kingdom Come Parkway to a standstill. Campbell Robertson, New York Times, "Unpaid Miners Blocked a Coal Train in Protest. Weeks Later, They’re Still There.," 19 Aug. 2019 On Monday, a strike brought public transit — including airline flights — to a standstill. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Hong Kong protesters stage a laser show in latest challenge to Beijing," 8 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'standstill.' 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 standstill

1702, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for standstill

Last Updated

3 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for standstill

The first known use of standstill was in 1702

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More Definitions for standstill



English Language Learners Definition of standstill

: a state in which all activity or motion is stopped


stand·​still | \ ˈstand-ˌstil How to pronounce standstill (audio) \

Kids Definition of standstill

: the condition of not being active or busy : stop Business was at a standstill.


stand·​still | \ ˈstand-ˌstil How to pronounce standstill (audio) \

Medical Definition of standstill

: a state characterized by absence of motion or of progress : arrest cardiac standstill

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Comments on standstill

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