There are 2 main definitions of stand down in English:

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stand down 1

1Withdraw or resign from a position or office: he stood down as leader of the party
More example sentences
  • He is standing down from his position due to ill health.
  • The first-ever female principal of Northallerton College has announced that she is standing down from her position next summer after nearly seven years in the job.
  • He announced that he was standing down from the position as treasurer after 18 years.
2 (stand down or stand someone down) Relax or cause to relax after a state of readiness: if something doesn’t happen soon, I reckon they’ll stand us down
More example sentences
  • Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Endurance has been stood down from a rescue in the sea off Antarctica.
  • If there is not a successful breakthrough, we're there at the Government's behest and if they decide to stand us down, then we will be stood down.
  • An ambulance crew was dispatched immediately, however they were stood down shortly after.
relax, stand easy, come off full alert
3(Of a witness) leave the witness box after giving evidence.
Example sentences
  • The applicant may stand down and go back to the Bar table.
  • What I propose to do is to have this witness stood down.
  • After a minute of silence the judge said, ‘Okay, the witness may stand down.’
See parent entry: stand
Definition of stand down in:
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There are 2 main definitions of stand down in English:

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stand-down 2 Line breaks: stand-down


A period of relaxation after a state of alert: [count noun]: news of the stand-down had not reached Mogadishu [mass noun]: during stand-down officers turn a blind eye
More example sentences
  • The days in between were either stand-downs for resupply or aborted assaults due to the inability of supporting ground units to get into position.
  • He says another crucial task of the mediators will be to broker a stand-down while ensuring the volatile situation does not crumble.
  • A serious probe would demonstrate that the government was, at the very least, guilty of criminal negligence, and, more likely, a deliberate stand-down of intelligence and security agencies.
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