Definition of standby in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstan(d)bʌɪ/

noun (plural standbys)

[mass noun]
1Readiness for duty or immediate deployment: buses were placed on standby for the journey to London
More example sentences
  • Voters will go to the polls today with 95,000 police on the streets and 100,000 troops on standby for immediate deployment.
  • By spotting the danger signs early enough, a civil defence team can be put on standby to provide an immediate response to another flood.
  • As part of the government's rapid reaction force, 45 Commando are on permanent standby for deployment to anywhere in the world at very short notice.
1.1 [count noun] A person or thing ready to be deployed immediately, especially if needed as backup in an emergency: a generator was kept as a standby in case of power failure [as modifier]: a standby rescue vessel
More example sentences
  • Stored rainwater also is a good standby in times of emergencies such as power outages or during periods of extreme drought when wells dry up.
  • The tugboat is truly multi purpose, as it can lead oil tankers into port, repair petroleum pipes in the sea and act as a standby rescue boat.
  • They have a standby generator and five solar panels.
1.2An operational mode of an electrical appliance in which the power is switched on but the appliance is not actually functioning: switch off the TV at night instead of leaving it on standby
More example sentences
  • The standby function on electrical appliances is responsible for an estimated six per cent of the UK's domestic electricity consumption.
  • One nuclear power station is needed to feed the millions of electrical appliances left in standby mode around the UK every day.
  • A new chip promises to significantly reduce the power consumption of numerous consumer products and portable computing devices operating in standby mode.
1.3 [as modifier] Denoting an economic or financial measure prepared for implementation in specified circumstances: a standby credit facility
More example sentences
  • The Executive Board also approved the second review of Bulgaria's economic performance under the standby credit.
  • But it was so heavily in debt by 2001 that it couldn't post standby letters of credit against customers' deposits on the ovens they were buying.
  • The board took the decision after completing the fourth review of Bulgaria's economic performance under the standby agreement.
2The state of waiting to secure an unreserved place for a journey or performance, allocated on the basis of earliest availability: passengers were obliged to go on standby
More example sentences
  • The seats are typically offered on standby basis and but have become increasingly hard for employees to nail down as many flights fly at record-full levels.
  • But cheap fares are filling the empty seats staffers used to use on standby.
  • The 74 passengers were put on standby for the next available flight.
2.1 [count noun] A person waiting to secure an unreserved place for a journey or performance: standbys are allowed to board when all the passengers with confirmed reservations are seated
More example sentences
  • When they called the flight, to my relief I was one of the standbys who made it aboard.
  • So I camped out and waited for the standbys to get called.
  • I got on the flight even though there were a bunch of standbys milling around the ticket counter.
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