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

Hong Kong commuters faced major disruptions Monday morning, with the city’s trains brought to a standstill and more than 200 flights canceled as protesters staged a general strike. Amy Gunia / Hong Kong, Time, "Strikes Bring Hong Kong to a Standstill as Flights Are Canceled and Trains Are Disrupted," 5 Aug. 2019 By nightfall, the protesters wearing hard hats and gas masks had brought traffic to a standstill and built barricades across some streets, forcing the area’s luxury boutiques and other stores to close. Ezra Cheung, New York Times, "Protesters Start Three Days of Civil Disobedience in Hong Kong," 30 July 2019 In the case of the GX, the most notable tradeoff is in how power is supplied to the pedals from a standstill. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "GoCycle GX e-bike review: fast, fun, and foldable," 29 July 2019 Ice rose up to a meter and a half (about 60 inches) in some areas, bringing traffic to a standstill and damaging at least 200 homes. Ana Campoy, Quartz, "A Mexican city got nearly 60 inches of hail," 1 July 2019 In addition, the C-HR gets lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control that works to a standstill, and a special pre-collision system that can detect pedestrians and vehicles. Jonathan Elfalan, Edmunds, USA TODAY, "Advanced driver aids aren't just for luxury cars, Edmunds says," 6 Apr. 2018 However, the chances of a full-on infrastructure deal seem unlikely with Congress at a standstill and election season in full swing. Seth A. Richardson,, "Donald Trump to tout infrastructure plan Thursday to workers at Richfield union training facility," 28 Mar. 2018 Everyday Portlanders, however, are feeling more frustrated than scared by the protests that bring their city to a standstill. Gillian Flaccus, Anchorage Daily News, "Portland braces for far-right rally and counterprotest that could turn violent," 13 Aug. 2019 Airport staff advised passengers to leave the airport for their own safety, but traffic outside was at a near standstill, and public transportation was clogged. Washington Post, "The Latest: Hong Kong airport to restart flights Tuesday," 12 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

5 Sep 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

What made you want to look up standstill? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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