There are 2 main definitions of stand off in English:

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stand off 1

1Move or keep away: the women stood off at a slight distance
More example sentences
  • Unbeknownst to everyone else, a man in an impeccable suit stood off in the shadows, not moving a muscle.
  • During this process, the safety observer stood off to the side.
  • Jessica and I stood off to the side, eager to get under way.
2 Nautical Sail further away from the shore: the ship was standing off on the landward side
More example sentences
  • Recognizing it to be a naval auxiliary, the Shackleton stood off.
  • Before that time steamers often had to stand off in busy times until it was their turn to be unloaded.
  • The boat edged in, standing off sufficiently to avoid boats, people and rocks.
See parent entry: stand
Definition of stand off in:
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There are 2 main definitions of stand off in English:

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stand-off 2 Line breaks: stand-off
Pronunciation: /ˈstandɒf/


1A deadlock between two equally matched opponents in a dispute or conflict: the 16-day-old stand-off was no closer to being resolved
More example sentences
  • It used to be political and military stand-offs over big issues that caused crises in Northern Ireland.
  • His young administration faces fierce and conflicting political pressures on how he handles the stand-off.
  • The Cold War nuclear stand-off did much to sharpen Kubrick's awareness of global politics.
2 Rugby short for stand-off half.
Example sentences
  • Storm, lacking their first-choice stand-off, scrum-half and hooker, struggled to fire.
  • Whether he plays at stand-off or loose forward does not really matter.
  • We've a great stand-off in Danny McGuire and a great full back in Richie Mathers.
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