stand·​still | \ ˈstan(d)-ˌstil \

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

Southwest said the partial government shutdown cost it up to $15 million in January and brought work to launch service to Hawaii to a standstill. Alison Sider, WSJ, "American, Southwest Report Optimism Despite Shutdown Worries," 24 Jan. 2019 With negotiations now at a standstill, Pence has been a frequent visitor to the Capitol, focused on trying to keep jittery Republicans from breaking with Trump. Laurie Kellman, The Seattle Times, "Pence tested in role of messenger for Trump policies," 13 Jan. 2019 That all came to a standstill, though, when Hong, 34, watched The True Cost, a documentary about unethical fashion production. Michaela Dosamantes, Glamour, "6 Women Who Are Shaping the Future of Fashion," 23 Oct. 2018 The fighting has brought civilian life to a standstill, with most residents sheltering indoors. Frank Miles, Fox News, "US, Afghan forces battle Taliban in Ghazni," 14 Aug. 2018 The two sides agreed to a 90-day standstill in their trade battle in early December, with the U.S. postponing plans to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods and the two sides entering negotiations on other contentious issues. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The China Story That Is Far Bigger Than Apple," 4 Jan. 2019 The athlete’s football career has also come to a standstill after his peaceful political protest. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Companies used to stay quiet about politics. In 2018, social causes became integral to their branding.," 17 Dec. 2018 But Sinema fought this strategy to a standstill among two key groups of whites — younger voters and women. Nicholas Riccardi, The Seattle Times, "Democrat Sinema wins Arizona Senate seat running as centrist," 13 Nov. 2018 Getty ImagesNBC Yesterday, the music world came to a standstill when it was announced that the legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin had died aged 76, surrounded by family and friends after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Ariana Grande's Emotional Aretha Franklin Tribute Performance Is So Moving," 17 Aug. 2018

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

7 Feb 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 \

Kids Definition of standstill

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


stand·​still | \ ˈstand-ˌstil \

Medical Definition of standstill

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

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