Definition of stand in English:

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Pronunciation: /stand/

verb (past and past participle stood /stʊd/)

1 [no object, usually with adverbial of place] Have or maintain an upright position, supported by one’s feet: Lionel stood in the doorway she stood still, heart hammering
More example sentences
  • There I was, standing up near the stage waiting for the concert to start, and two girls came and stood next to me.
  • And then, in the pouring rain, a half-dozen supporters stood around waiting for the media to show up.
  • A little boy stood alone in the middle of the floor.
be on one's feet, be upright, be erect, be vertical
1.1Rise to one’s feet: the two men stood up and shook hands
More example sentences
  • The Ambassador stood up and gestured to his secretary who also stood.
  • Fred laughed wildly as he stood up.
  • Gornyo stood up and sort of shuffled over to stand next to Kya.
rise, rise to one's feet, get to one's feet, get up, straighten up, pick oneself up, find one's feet, be upstanding
literary arise
1.2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move somewhere in an upright position: she stood aside to let them enter
More example sentences
  • He walked up to the door of the house, opened it, and stood aside for the others to enter first.
  • Alison stood aside and let him in.
  • Please stand aside so I can serve the next guest.
1.3 [with object and adverbial of place] Place or set in an upright or specified position: don’t stand the plant in direct sunlight
More example sentences
  • When starting to use this type of corkscrew, it is best to stand the bottle on the table.
  • An easy way to steam asparagus if you don't have a proper steamer is to tie the stalks together with string, stand them upright in a pan and cover with a loose foil dome.
  • Put it on your kitchen draining board with one end trailing into a water-filled sink and stand your plants upon it.
put, set, set up, erect, upend, place, position, locate, situate, prop, lean, plant, stick, install, arrange, dispose, deposit
informal plonk, park
2 [no object, with adverbial of place] (Of an object, building, or settlement) be situated in a particular place or position: the town stood on a hill the hotel stands in three acres of gardens
More example sentences
  • I gazed at the wine red brick buildings standing upon the hills, towering overhead.
  • The problem was that the sand dunes feeding the ocean were the same dunes on which buildings now stood.
  • The new building stands behind the Grade II listed original hospital that will be used for administration.
be, be situated, be located, be positioned, be set, be found, be sited, be established, be perched, sit, perch, nestle
2.1(Of a building or other vertical structure) remain upright and entire rather than fall into ruin or be destroyed: after the storms only one house was left standing
More example sentences
  • The walls of the structure were still standing, but not very stable.
  • Not a recognizable building remained standing, although one could quite easily be buried.
  • Often a reader is not told if a given structure is still standing or who a particular person or family was.
2.2Remain valid or unaltered: my decision stands he won 31 caps-a record which stood for 42 years
More example sentences
  • Sir Donald Bradman's records still stand, especially his unsurpassed total of 5,028 runs in Ashes contests.
  • Four of her UK records still stand more than 20 years since she retired.
  • He finally makes it to Bonneville and sets a world speed record that stands even today.
remain in force, remain valid, remain effective, remain operative, remain in operation, hold, hold good, obtain, apply, prevail, reign, rule, hold sway, be the case, exist, be in use
2.3(Especially of a vehicle) remain stationary: the train now standing at platform 3
More example sentences
  • We found a bus standing behind the Vatican in the shade that we hoped would take us to the central station.
  • Someone had noticed his car standing outside the village when we arrived, so we knew that he must be somewhere about the place.
  • Television footage showed buses standing near the plane, and later taking the people away.
2.4(Of a liquid) collect and remain motionless: soil where water stands in winter
More example sentences
  • It doesn't have any water standing there now, because most of the time it's dry at the surface.
  • Bottomland forest grows where the elevation is slightly higher and water stands only some of the time.
  • But first consider what is happening, and why the water is standing where it is.
2.5(Especially of food) rest without disturbance, typically so as to infuse or marinate: pour boiling water over the fruit and leave it to stand for 5 minutes
More example sentences
  • Let the cake stand a few hours, preferably overnight to cool before unmoulding.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer gently for five minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to stand and infuse for at least 30 minutes.
  • Leave the meat to stand in a warm place covered with foil.
2.6 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (Of a ship) remain on a specified course: the ship was standing north
More example sentences
  • The large ship had stood away as its smaller companions charged in to attack.
  • The ship was standing out to sea from Southampton.
  • The wind had been westerly since the preceding noon, and at the time we saw the land, the ship was standing to the NW.
3 [no object, with complement] Be in a specified state or condition: since mother’s death the house had stood empty sorry, darling—I stand corrected
More example sentences
  • It had stood empty for half a year, an almost new place, with parking, owned by a diplomat posted overseas.
  • Pontins closed as a holiday camp 10 years ago and has stood empty and deteriorating ever since.
  • Why shut it down so long ago if it was just going to stand empty?
3.1Adopt a particular attitude towards a matter or issue: students should consider where they stand on this issue
More example sentences
  • I think it's done nothing to clarify where they stand specifically on the issues.
  • Where do you stand on this issue?
  • How one defines a clone seems to depend on to which side of the issue one stands.
3.2Be of a specified height: Sampson was a small man, standing 5 ft 4 in tall
More example sentences
  • He stands around the average height for a boy his age and a little above the average weight.
  • He stood about the same height as Ben, maybe an inch shorter, and was dressed in black track shorts and a black tee.
  • The biggest stone in the cove stood twice the height of a man and must have weighed several tens of tons.
3.3 (stand at) Be at (a particular level or value): the budget stood at £2,000 million per annum
More example sentences
  • Although crime stands at a low level in the district, pockets of unacceptable behaviour are springing up.
  • It now stands at 5.07 million and is forecast to fall below five million by the end of the decade.
  • The number of the infected in the region was reported to stand at between one and two million.
3.4 [no object, with infinitive] Be in a situation where one is likely to do something: investors stood to lose heavily
More example sentences
  • All members of the community stand to benefit by creating a thriving rural environment.
  • Look how much we stand to win!
  • He stood to gain millions through his law firm.
3.5Act in a specified capacity: he stood security for the government’s borrowings
More example sentences
  • In modern warfare a small tank unit may be positioned to protect and stand post for other tank units while the crews sleep or prepare for renewed fighting.
  • The third, who had stood watch, rested on the outer edge of the camp; he had just nodded off.
  • Plainclothes security men stand guard in the dust-caked street outside.
3.6 (also stand at stud) [no object] (Of a stallion) be available for breeding.
Example sentences
  • The last major stakes winner to stand at stud then return to the racetrack for competition was champion Bertrando.
  • I think it's more likely that he'll stand at stud next year.
  • No announcement has been made where the five relocated stallions will stand next year.
4 [with object and often modal] Withstand (an experience or test) without being damaged: small, stable boats that could stand the punishment of heavy seas will your cooker stand the strain of the festive season?
More example sentences
  • It has a great deal to teach about vengeance and violence, and the way that friendships can stand the tests of both.
  • The unit can stand 900G of non-operating shock or 250G of operating shock.
  • It's probably the only convertible, this side of a Porsche, which could really stand the punishment of everyday country road driving.
4.1 [with modal and usually negative] informal Be able to endure or tolerate: I can’t stand the way Mum talks to him I can’t stand brandy
More example sentences
  • I've never been able to stand seeing girls cry.
  • I wouldn't be able to stand looking at her face everyday after what she did to you… and me.
  • I wouldn't be able to stand the thirst during the hot day when I have to drag my cart around.
withstand, endure, bear, put up with, take, cope with, handle, sustain, resist, stand up to
endure, tolerate, bear, put up with, take, abide, suffer, support, brook, countenance, face
informal stick, swallow, stomach, hack, wear
5 [no object] British Be a candidate in an election: he stood for parliament in 1968
More example sentences
  • In the 2001 general election Brian stood as the Socialist Alliance candidate for Brightside.
  • She stood as Respect's candidate in Tottenham during the general election, winning 6.8 percent of the vote.
  • The winner, who will be revealed on Friday, will stand as an independent candidate in the next General Election, with all their costs covered.
6 [no object] Act as umpire in a cricket match.
Example sentences
  • He has stood as an on-field umpire in 16 matches.
  • Currently two neutral umpires officiate in Test matches while one umpire from the home country stands with a neutral umpire in one-day internationals.
  • He bowled in the nets on Monday, with Ponting standing as umpire to glean a closer look.
7 [usually with two objects] Provide (food or drink) for (someone) at one’s own expense: somebody in the bar would stand him a coffee
More example sentences
  • If a certain drunk fisherman stands him a beer, we'll have our answer.
  • I had the misfortune of having to stand the drinks.
  • This curiosity lead me wait around, in the hopes I could stand him a drink and ask him a few questions.


1 [usually in singular] An attitude towards a particular issue: the party’s tough stand on immigration his traditionalist stand
More example sentences
  • It had also been adopting a different stand from the left parties on various public issues.
  • I take a more critical stand towards the Prime Minister.
  • The leader of the British Columbia Green Party also took a stand, siding with the con team members.
attitude, stance, point of view, viewpoint, opinion, way of thinking, outlook, standpoint, posture, position, angle, perspective, approach, slant, thinking, policy, line, thoughts, ideas, sentiments, feelings
1.1A determined effort to resist or fight for something: this was not the moment to make a stand for independence we have to take a stand against racism
More example sentences
  • I was there to take a stand against a global system that increasingly places more value on economic progress than on human and ecological welfare.
  • For me, to honor my heritage as I was raised to understand it, I am obligated to take a stand against what I know to be wrong.
  • The British Printing Industries Federation is the first to take a stand against the practice.
opposition to, resistance to, objection to, defensive position against, hostility to, animosity towards, disapproval of
1.2An act of holding one’s ground against or halting to resist an opposing force: Custer’s legendary last stand
More example sentences
  • Were the troops to make such a last stand, they could tie down American forces scheduled for transfer to the Pacific war.
  • He had lost both legs in a final stand against a combined force of Cuban and Angolan troops.
  • In late 1911 about 800 Moros fled to the old battleground of Bud Dajo to make a stand.
1.3 Cricket another term for partnership. they shared a second-wicket stand of 135
More example sentences
  • The new pair at the crease were Darren Stevens and Michael Walker and they did well, sharing an unbeaten stand of 116 by the close.
  • England's captain and vice-captain shared a stand of 124 in what could yet turn out to be the decisive passage of play.
  • The match-winning stand, however, came between John Sadler and Paul Nixon, as they added 84 for the sixth wicket.
2A rack, base, or piece of furniture for holding, supporting, or displaying something: a microphone stand
More example sentences
  • A metal stand supports his B-flat bass instrument so he can play while in his wheelchair.
  • Although frustrated, the man meekly returned the offending piece back to its stand.
  • It had a cylindrical shape and was supported by a stand with five legs.
base, support, mounting, platform, rest, plinth, bottom;
tripod, rack, trivet, bracket, frame, case, shelf, gripper
2.1A small stall or booth in a street, market, or public building from which goods are sold: a hot-dog stand
More example sentences
  • At one end of the market, a few stands sold a variety of local spices, sauces, tea and jams.
  • He said his ice-cream stand will have sold more than 5,000 cones by the end of the three-day festival.
  • The event will kick off at 9.30 am and at 4pm roads in the town centre will be closed to allow market stands and crowds to overflow into the streets.
stall, booth, kiosk
2.2chiefly British An upright structure on which an organization displays promotional material at an exhibition: stands exhibiting new wines
More example sentences
  • Cheered to the rafters as he briefly appeared on the conference stage and glowingly welcomed as he toured the exhibition stands, the former leader took all before him.
  • As duty officer he was manning an exhibition stand and casting an eye over some display boards when a familiar name caught his eye.
  • Upfront Exhibitions was set up to fill a need for the design and construction of trade stands, exhibition, stage sets and props.
2.3A raised platform for a band, orchestra, or speaker.
Example sentences
  • We had reached the stands where the band always sits and plays pep band songs.
  • A jazz band was on the stand.
  • Dancers could be sure of a pleasant tuneful evening when his orchestra was on the stand.
3The place where someone typically stands or sits: she took her stand in front of the desks
More example sentences
  • She took her stand at the podium in the center of the room.
  • One after another they all tried, each man rising in his turn and taking his stand before the threshold.
  • Taking her stand in the centre of the room, she waited.
3.1A place where vehicles, typically taxis, wait for passengers: a taxi stand the terminal’s facilities include additional aircraft parking stands
More example sentences
  • Bus drivers had been told on Friday they could no longer wait at stands between picking up and dropping off passengers.
  • Thanks to the new-age look being modelled for six of the city's busiest bus stands, waiting for a bus could well become the most exciting part of the journey.
  • The plight of passengers at bus stands is much worse.
rank, station, park, parking place, place, bay
3.2 (also witness stand) A witness box: Sergeant Harris took the stand
More example sentences
  • Edwards called his witness to the stand.
  • He was given to walking around the courtroom before stopping abruptly to bellow questions at the witness in the stand.
  • Prosecutors don't want to put her on the stand without corroboration, because her bias is so evident.
4A large raised tiered structure for spectators, typically at a sporting venue: United’s manager watched from the stands
More example sentences
  • The 30,000 spectators will be seated in two tiered stands that reflect each other across the pitch.
  • The stands are half-full, spectators jostling to reach their seats.
  • Sturdy steel fences surrounding the arena have been constructed, preventing close contact with the spectators sitting in the stands.
5 [usually in singular] A cessation from motion or progress: the train drew to a stand by the signal box
More example sentences
  • The train emerges from the foliage and comes to a stand for the crossing gates to be opened.
  • A hill which a motor car would hardly notice would bring a heavy train to a stand in next to no time.
  • For years the trains had to be brought to a stand by a dubious hand-brake, but later two were fitted with air pumps for braking.
stop, halt, standstill, dead stop
5.1The mean sea level at a particular period in the past.
Example sentences
  • At the sequence boundary, sediment accumulated only in the most distal locations, and hence it is inferred that sea level was falling or at a low stand.
  • where there is a tendency for a double tide the stand may last for several hours even with a large range of tide.
  • Much water was sequestered in glaciers and sea level was about 100 m below its present stand.
5.2The state of the tide at high or low water when there is little change in water level.
Example sentences
  • Geologically, this was a deep valley eroded by the Mississippi during the Pleistocene Era when the sea level was 200 feet below its present stand.
  • Where there is a tendency for a double tide the stand may last for several hours even with a large range of tide.
  • This suggests that the lower areas were flooded prior to 1760 and, thus, that the high stand at 631m occurred some time between 1650 and 1750 AD.
5.3Each halt made on a touring theatrical production to give one or more performances.
Example sentences
  • More successful was our concluding stand of the tour outside a reconstructed village inn.
  • After the Saturday opening date, the show moved to Elkton, Maryland, for its first stand of the tour.
  • The show's last stand will be at the Dallas Museum of Art.
6A group of growing plants of a specified kind, especially trees: a stand of poplars
More example sentences
  • Since the American elm generally was regarded as the optimal urban tree, extensive stands were planted, something no city would do today.
  • Eventually we came to a stand of birch trees growing in a circle.
  • He planted a number of stands of spruce, larch and fir trees many of which still exist.
copse, spinney, thicket, grove, coppice, wood
rare boscage
7South African A plot of land.
Perhaps from Afrikaans standplaas 'standing place'
Example sentences
  • The first stand of land was rightfully presented to Tom Lambert in 1898.
  • He works with growers all over the world to help them understand how to manage their wild stands of land.
8 rare A flock of game birds: the stand of pheasants has been better this year than for many years
More example sentences
  • He was aware of a stand of fowl which he failed to recognise.
  • The Game Warden suggests close seasons for a few years would be most helpful in increasing the stand of grouse.
  • The area supported a very thin stand of quail.


The use of the past participle stood with the verb ‘to be’, as in we were stood in a line for hours, is not acceptable in standard English, where the present participle standing should be used instead. See also sit (usage).



as it stands

In its present condition: there are no merits in the Bill as it stands
More example sentences
  • But the law as it stands also proposes to outlaw all smoking in theatres - including on the stage.
  • The scheme as it stands is a well considered response that pays enormous respect to the building.
  • As it stands the movie is a waste of time.
(also as things stand)1.1 In the present circumstances: the country would struggle, as it stands, to host the next World Cup
More example sentences
  • I am awaiting an assessment of the injuries, but, as things stand, we are very depleted.
  • However, as things stand, works remain in copyright in the U.K. for 70 years after the death of their author.
  • But, as things stand, I am having to rely on my parents for financial assistance.

be at a stand

archaic Be perplexed and unable to take action.
Example sentences
  • The Country Parson being to administer the Sacraments, is at a stand with himself, how or what behavior to assume for so holy things.
  • Here I am a little at a stand; for credit, properly speaking, they have none.

it stands to reason

see reason.

stand and deliver!

historical A highwayman’s order to hand over money and valuables.
Example sentences
  • ‘Hand over your goods,’ she ordered, but seeing Lord Harold continuing to play the audacious gentleman, she added in a colder tone of voice, ‘stand and deliver!’
  • The last time a ‘gentleman of the road’ cried ‘Stand and deliver!’ on an English highway is thought to have been in 1831.
  • Stand and deliver, your money or your life!

stand a chance

see chance.

stand easy!

see easy.

stand one's ground

Maintain one’s position, typically in the face of opposition: she stood her ground, refusing to let him intimidate her
More example sentences
  • I am sorry, but I stand my ground on this.
  • For the first time in our history, I stood my ground against him without bursting into tears.
  • Once you have told your significant other that you will not put up with certain actions, it is imperative that you stand your ground.
stand firm, be firm, make a stand, be resolute, insist, be determined, show determination, hold on, hold out, be emphatic, not take no for an answer, brook no refusal
informal stick to one's guns

stand someone in good stead

see stead.

stand on me

informal, dated Rely on me; believe me.
Example sentences
  • You'll be all right, stand on me.
  • Never mind about passports, eh? Just stand on me.

stand on one's own (two) feet

Be or become self-reliant or independent: he’ll have to stand on his own two feet
More example sentences
  • I am a 30 year-old woman and I am fairly independent, believing in standing on my own two feet most of the time and having strong relationships based on intellect and feeling.
  • She taught us how to stand on our own feet.
  • Fortunately, the children knew they had to be capable of standing on their own feet and supporting her through old age.

stand out a mile

see mile.

stand out like a sore thumb

see sore.

stand pat

see pat2.

stand treat

dated Bear the expense of treating someone to something.
Example sentences
  • I've been standing treat for a whole week and more, and letting you have all the delicacies of the season.
  • He added that his own reason for making the trip was because of Mr. Clemens's offer to stand treat.
  • The English officer stood treat to the whole village.

stand trial

Be tried in a court of law: he was due to stand trial for spreading propaganda
More example sentences
  • They were later extradited to Britain and had been due to stand trial at Woolwich Crown Court in London.
  • He was later charged by officers and had been due to stand trial at Southampton Crown Court.
  • A North Yorkshire woman is to stand trial at Hull Crown Court after denying a charge of manslaughter.

stand up and be counted

State publicly one’s support for someone or something: those who admire her should stand up and be counted
More example sentences
  • Well now is the time for them to stand up and be counted and show they are true supporters.
  • However, when no one else was willing to speak up, it was necessary to stand up and be counted.
  • It's time for the Irish people to stand up and be counted.

will the real —— please stand up

informal Used rhetorically to indicate that the specified person should clarify their position or reveal their true character: he was so different from the unhappy man of a week ago—would the real Jack Lawrence please stand up?
More example sentences
  • We're going to ask the question, will the real Republican Party please stand up.
  • Now, as he unwraps his directorial debut, will the real Edward Norton please stand up?
  • Will the real John Wayne please stand up?

Phrasal verbs


stand alone

Be unequalled: when it came to fun Fergus stood alone
More example sentences
  • In terms of deaths caused by one individual acting alone, he stands alone.
  • The television show stands alone with a unique place in the nation's heart.
  • But Malaysia stands alone among the airlines flying here to score a marvellous five stars for its economy class long haul seating.

stand aside

Take no action to prevent, or not involve oneself in, something that is happening: the army had stood aside as the monarchy fell
More example sentences
  • If somebody is going to start causing trouble am I going to stand aside and watch it happen?
  • They urged the army to stand aside and offer no resistance.
  • She said they have been told, in the event of serious trouble, to stand aside and not attempt to prevent a breakout.
2.1Withdraw or resign from a position or office: the acting prime minister refused to stand aside to permit Sir Julius to resume his post
More example sentences
  • He should have stood aside pending the findings of the enquiry.
  • Today he stood aside from the leadership, although he'll remain in the Parliament.
  • In 1892 he was elected Labour MP for the West Ham constituency in London, abetted by the fact that the Liberal candidate had stood aside.

stand back

Withdraw from a situation emotionally in order to view it more objectively: I blazed with rage, then stood back and assessed the situation
More example sentences
  • It is time to stand back from a situation that has gained acceptability through long familiarity and reappraise it objectively.
  • Only by standing back and viewing the evidence as a whole can one properly reach a conclusion.
  • He's also able to stand back and be objective and will always challenge me if he thinks something is not quite right.

stand by

1Be present while something bad is happening but fail to take any action to stop it: he was beaten to the ground as onlookers stood by
More example sentences
  • And not the least of the horror is that the rest of the world stood by and let it happen.
  • And the police stood by and let it happen because it was peaceful.
  • It was surprising that Stewart stood by and watched this happen.
2Support or remain loyal to (someone), typically in a time of need: she had stood by him during his years in prison
More example sentences
  • You knew when doing it, though, that a lot of your friends, and supporters and people who stood by you would be outraged.
  • Most football supporters have stood by him in his adversity, and greeted him with warm applause on match days despite his falling from grace so publicly.
  • Paula has asked me to convey her heartfelt thanks to all those who stood by her and support her.
remain/be loyal to, stand up for, support, give one's support to, be supportive of, back, back up, give one's backing to, uphold, defend, come to the defence of, stick up for, champion, take someone's part, take the side of, side with
remain/be loyal to, stand by, support, give one's support to, be supportive of, back, back up, give one's backing to, uphold, defend, come to the defence of, stick up for, champion, take someone's part, take the side of, side with
2.1Adhere to or abide by (something promised, stated, or decided): the government must stand by its pledges
More example sentences
  • He said his members want to go back to work as quickly as possible, but the Government had to stand by its promises first.
  • If it introduces a firm policy of that sort, it must stand by it.
  • Remember, if you make it a rule, you must stand by it.
abide by, keep (to), adhere to, hold to, stick to, observe, heed, comply with, act in accordance with
3Be ready to deal or assist with something: two battalions were on their way, and a third was standing by
More example sentences
  • The jets sit fueled and ready on the tarmac, and pilots stand by around the clock ready to scramble them into the air on a moment's notice.
  • They had a medical officer standing by to assist with the survivor.
  • British Royal Marines and US Marines are standing by to assist with evacuations of UK and US citizens if needed.
wait, be prepared, be in (a state of) readiness, be ready for action, be on full alert, be at battle stations, wait in the wings

stand down

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.’

stand for

1Be an abbreviation of or symbol for: BBC stands for British Broadcasting Corporation
More example sentences
  • Symbols stand for something, yet this one doesn't seem to represent anything at all.
  • Find out what those pesky acronyms and abbreviations stand for.
  • This abbreviation stands for DVD rewritable disc and means that it can be recorded and erased just the same as a VHS video.
mean, be an abbreviation of, represent, signify, denote, indicate, correspond to, be equivalent to, symbolize
literary betoken
2 [with negative] informal Refuse to endure or tolerate: I won’t stand for any nonsense
More example sentences
  • The referee refused to stand for any nonsense and brandished a succession of cards.
  • He did not stand for nonsense from anyone.
  • This patient won't stand for any nonsense - but she does require instant gratification
put up with, endure, tolerate, allow, accept, take, abide, suffer, support, brook, countenance
informal stick, swallow, stomach, hack, wear
3Support (a cause or principle): we stand for animal welfare
More example sentences
  • On that day the principles I stood for and believed in were set aside on the altar of political expediency.
  • In spite of their peaceable professions, the French revolutionaries had always believed that they stood for principles of universal validity.
  • Ours is the only party that stands for the fundamental principle that all workers must be able to live and work in whichever country they choose.

stand in

1Deputize: Brown stood in for the injured Simpson
More example sentences
  • I then stood in for another team leader while she was off, and I picked up everything really quickly.
  • Ian Bell also pushed his claims by striking an assured 70 when he stood in for Graham Thorpe.
  • He stood in for us when called on and played better than we could have expected.
deputize, act, act as deputy, substitute, act as substitute, act as stand-in, fill in, sit in, do duty, take over, act as understudy, act as locum, do a locum, be a proxy, cover, provide cover, hold the fort, step into the breach;
take the place of, do something in someone's place/stead, replace, relieve, take over from, understudy
informal sub, fill someone's shoes/boots, step into someone's shoes/boots
North American  pinch-hit
2 Nautical Sail closer to the shore.
Example sentences
  • The American ship stood in as close to the shoals as she dared and then fired a shot across the steamer's bow.
  • The ship stood in for the island.
  • In the evening we saw a harbour, stood in towards it and found it to have all the appearances of a good one.

stand in with

dated Be in league or partnership with: I should enjoy standing in with Tammany, in some enormously wicked deal
More example sentences
  • He is noted for his tact in standing in with both the Republican and Democratic parties at one and the same time.
  • I'm willing to put up a fiver, and you put up another fiver, and if he doubles that for us then we can talk about standing in with him with a hundred.

stand off

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.

stand someone off

1Keep someone away; repel someone: they could not hope to stand off all the horsemen
More example sentences
  • It is not in our interest to create the impression that a group of insurgents can stand us off for months.
  • He can easily be stood off by either of the Austrian armies.
  • After Grant outflanked the Confederates and encircled Vicksburg, they stood him off for weeks.
2British another way of saying lay someone off (see lay1).
Example sentences
  • Three categories of claimant were stood down workers who were workers who were stood off from their employment when the gas interruption shut down their places of employment.
  • Those who were stood off had but a poor chance of getting a start anywhere else.
  • Formerly the local labourers had been stood off at that season.

stand on

1Be scrupulous in the observance of: call me Alexander-don’t let’s stand on formality
More example sentences
  • A wave of competition is coming and standing on formality and baloney is no way to compete.
  • We both know that you know who I am, so lets not stand on ceremony.
2 Nautical Continue on the same course.
Example sentences
  • There was risk of collision if the other ship stood on.
  • A small vessel stood on towards them, and anchored before the fort.
  • Still the boat stood on; the spray was beating in heavy showers over her, and it was as much as she could do to look up to her canvas.

stand out

1Project from a surface: the veins in his neck stood out
More example sentences
  • One gable jutted into the road with a projecting like window which stood out from the building like a glass box held together by a massive frame of wood.
  • She was careful not to stub her toes on the rocks that stood out above the surface of the sand.
  • The use of crumbled or folded paper standing out from the plane surface of the canvas was a recurring motif of the Vanitas trompe l' oeil paintings.
project, stick out, bulge (out), protrude, jut out, jut, extend, poke out, obtrude
archaic protuberate
1.1Be easily noticeable: he was one of those men who stood out in a crowd
More example sentences
  • He said because she was wearing lightweight summer clothing when she disappeared she would have easily stood out.
  • His spiky red hair makes him easily stand out in a crowd.
  • Certain landmarks and locations in London stand out and are very noticeable.
be noticeable, be noticed, be visible, be seen, be obvious, be conspicuous, stick out, be striking, be distinctive, be prominent, attract attention, catch the eye, leap out, show up
informal stick/stand out a mile, stick/stand out like a sore thumb
1.2Be clearly better or more significant than someone or something: four issues stand out as being of crucial importance
More example sentences
  • One issue stands out from canvassing core Labour voters over more than four decades.
  • His study stands out from some of the other books that have appeared because he has spent most of his working life outside Australia without, however, losing touch with his birth-place.
  • It has a catchy chorus that you can easily sing along to and he has a voice that not many male singers have right now, so he stands out from the other male singers of today.
2Persist in opposition or support of something: she stood out against public opinion
More example sentences
  • But I was the first among the few who stood out for the successful candidate, who won with 63% of the vote in my province.
  • Brave individuals and small organizations stood out against the prevailing developmental ethos.
  • Bradford has a proud record of multi-cultural education and has stood out against higher fees for overseas students for a long time.

stand over

1Stand close to (someone) so as to watch, supervise, or intimidate them: matron stood over them while they had their dreaded wash with cold water
More example sentences
  • For the time being it leaves the establishments with no choice other than to stand over customers and supervise their use of the portable chip and PIN machines.
  • He stood over her, just watching her, just waiting for her to understand.
  • He stood over her quietly, watching as her shoulders rose and fell with each breath.
1.1Australian Intimidate or threaten (someone) in order to extort money from them: courageous shopkeepers are refusing to be stood over by teenage extortionists
More example sentences
  • The judge said his crimes against two victims he had threatened and stood over was "disturbingly violent behaviour".
  • A prominent Brisbane hairdresser was allegedly stood over by bikies.
  • Earlier that month he was accused of standing over the Bohemian Club, wanting £10 a week for its protection.
2 (stand over or stand something over) Be postponed or postpone to be dealt with at a later date: a number of points were stood over to a further meeting
More example sentences
  • Is there utility in standing the matter over to a fixed date?
  • So the committal proceedings were stood over until the afternoon on 14th May.
  • I do recollect, now, that the summons was stood over.

stand to

[often in imperative] Military Stand ready for an attack, especially one before dawn or after dark: orders came to the guardroom to stand to
More example sentences
  • Ordered to ‘stand-to!’ just before dawn, the men would be assigned to stand on the fire step dug into the wall of the trench.
  • All British battalions in the front line of 28th Division were ordered to ‘stand to’.
  • The defenders were ordered to stand to.

stand up

(Of an argument, claim, evidence, etc.) remain valid after close scrutiny or analysis: you need to have hard evidence that will stand up in court the argument does not stand up to analysis
More example sentences
  • Whether the allegations against her will stand up in court remains to be seen.
  • He claimed they were for me, but I know for a fact that this wouldn't stand up in a court of law.
  • It was examined to see if the idea stood up and had integrity and financial credibility.
remain/be valid, be sound, be plausible, hold water, hold up, stand questioning, survive investigation, bear examination, be verifiable, be provable, ring true, be convincing

stand someone up

informal Fail to keep an appointment with a boyfriend or girlfriend: she threw eggs over his car after he stood her up
More example sentences
  • He just happened to take it out on me because I looked like his old high school girlfriend who stood him up at prom.
  • In another study, people were asked to imagine a scenario where they had been stood up by a friend with whom they had fixed a time to meet, only to discover that the friend had gone partying without them.
  • He rang my cell phone 6 times on a Saturday morning, two weeks after he stood me up.
fail to keep a date with, fail to meet, fail to keep an appointment with, fail to turn up for, jilt, let down

stand up for

Speak or act in support of: she learned to stand up for herself
More example sentences
  • The larger man began pushing the smaller man, who seemed hesitant to stand up for himself.
  • He was bullied at first, until he learned to stand up for himself.
  • If they personally feel that a decision is unjust and unfair, they must stand up for themselves.

stand up to

1Make a spirited defence against: giving workers the confidence to stand up to their employers
More example sentences
  • A defiant single mum plans to create a haven for her children and their friends to rebuild community spirit after standing up to nuisance neighbours.
  • I learned early on the spirit to stand up to my father, that he wasn't right because he was bigger than me or had a louder voice.
  • Covertly, then with more confidence, he stands up to the school bully.
defy, confront, challenge, oppose openly, resist, show resistance to, brave, take on, put up a fight against, take a stand against
2Be resistant to the harmful effects of (prolonged use): choose a carpet that will stand up to wear and tear
More example sentences
  • It will be interesting to see how this landform stands up to wear and tear from the public.
  • The first is the way the tyres stand up to the wear and tear imposed by a circuit on which the cars spend more time braking on full power than at any other track.
  • Cotton can also be ironed at relatively high temperatures, stands up to abrasion and wears well.
withstand, survive, come through (unscathed), outlast, outlive, weather, ride out



Example sentences
  • People are either standers or walkers on escalators and that's fine; I prefer to walk.
  • Bill is a stander and a doer, not a sitter and a thinker.
  • At the end, the delegates rose rather slowly to their feet; indeed for a while it looked as if there might not be a stander at all.


Old English standan (verb), stand (noun), of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin stare and Greek histanai, also by the noun stead.

  • stead from Old English:

    Old English stede meant ‘place’. From a Germanic source, it is related to Dutch stad ‘town’, German Statt ‘place’, from an Indo-European root shared by the verb stand. Instead (Middle English) is simply ‘in stead, in place of’ run together. The adjective steadfast [Old English] is literally ‘standing firm’; a homestead (Old English) is your ‘home place’; while if you are steady (Middle English) you are not easily moved from your place. See also place

Words that rhyme with stand

and, band, bland, brand, expand, firsthand, gland, grand, hand, land, manned, misunderstand, offhand, rand, righthand, Samarkand, sand, strand, thirdhand, underhand, undermanned, understand, unplanned, untanned, withstand

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: stand

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