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stand Idioms & Phrases

A stand of arms

  • a complete set for one soldier, as a musket, bayonet, cartridge box and belt; frequently, the musket and bayonet alone.
Webster 1913

coat stand

  • noun an upright pole with pegs or hooks on which to hang clothing
    coat tree; clothes tree.

covered stand

  • noun a stand at a racecourse or stadium consisting of tiers with rows of individual seats that are under a protective roof

Cruet stand

  • a frame for holding cruets; a caster.
Webster 1913


  • noun a stand for cruets containing various condiments

custer's last stand

  • noun a battle in Montana near the Little Bighorn River between United States cavalry under Custer and several groups of Native Americans (1876); Custer was pursuing Sioux led by Sitting Bull; Custer underestimated the size of the Sioux forces (which were supported by Cheyenne warriors) and was killed along with all his command
    Battle of the Little Bighorn; Battle of Little Bighorn; Little Bighorn.

Flake stand

  • the cooling tub or vessel of a still worm. Knight.
Webster 1913

Garden stand

  • a stand for flower pots.
Webster 1913

Grand stand

  • the principal stand, or erection for spectators, at a, race course, etc.
Webster 1913

home stand

  • noun a series of successive games played at a team's home field or court

Microscope stand

  • the instrument, excepting the eyepiece, objective, and other removable optical parts.
Webster 1913

music stand

  • noun a light stand for holding sheets of printed music
    music rack.

Not to stand on ceremony

  • not to be ceremonious; to be familiar, outspoken, or bold.
Webster 1913

one-night stand

  • noun a brief sexual encounter lasting only for a single night
    • he ran through a series of loveless one-night stands
  • noun a performance in one place on one night only

reviewing stand

  • noun a stand from which a parade or military force can be reviewed

Spool stand

  • an article holding spools of thread, turning on pins, used by women at their work.
Webster 1913

stable stand

Sta"ble stand`
  1. (O.Eng. Law) The position of a man who is found at his standing in the forest, with a crossbow or a longbow bent, ready to shoot at a deer, or close by a tree with greyhounds in a leash ready to slip; -- one of the four presumptions that a man intends stealing the king's deer. Wharton.
Webster 1913

stand back

  • verb stay clear of, avoid
    keep one's eyes off; stay away; keep one's hands off; keep one's distance.
    • Keep your hands off my wife!
    • Keep your distance from this man--he is dangerous
  • verb stand away from an object or person
    • He stood back to look at her

Stand by

  • verb not act or do anything
    • He just stood by when the police beat up the demonstrators
  • verb be available or ready for a certain function or service
    stick around; stick about.
  • verb be loyal to
    stick by; stick; adhere.
    • She stood by her husband in times of trouble
    • The friends stuck together through the war
  • (Naut.), a preparatory order, equivalent to Be ready.
Webster 1913

stand fast

  • verb refuse to abandon one's opinion or belief
    stand firm; stand fast; hold firm.

stand firm

  • verb stand up or offer resistance to somebody or something
    resist; withstand; hold out.
  • verb refuse to abandon one's opinion or belief
    stand firm; stand fast; hold firm.

stand for

  • verb express indirectly by an image, form, or model; be a symbol
    symbolise; typify; symbolize; represent.
    • What does the Statue of Liberty symbolize?
  • verb denote or connote
    signify; intend; mean.
    • `maison' means `house' in French
    • An example sentence would show what this word means
  • verb take the place of or be parallel or equivalent to
    represent; correspond.
    • Because of the sound changes in the course of history, an 'h' in Greek stands for an 's' in Latin
  • verb tolerate or bear
    hold still for.
    • I won't stand for this kind of behavior!

stand guard

  • verb watch over so as to protect
    stand guard; keep guard; stand sentinel.
    • We must stand sentinel to protect ourselves
    • The jewels over which they kept guard were stolen

stand in

  • verb be a substitute
    fill in; sub; substitute.
    • The young teacher had to substitute for the sick colleague
    • The skim milk substitutes for cream--we are on a strict diet

Stand of ammunition

  • the projectile, cartridge, and sabot connected together.
Webster 1913

Stand of arms

  • . (Mil.) See under Arms.
Webster 1913

Stand of colors

  • (Mil.), a single color, or flag. Wilhelm (Mil. Dict.)
Webster 1913

stand oil

  • noun a thick oil comprised of linseed, tung, or soya oils which have been heated to over 300 C

stand out

  • verb be highly noticeable
    jump; jump out; stick out; leap out.
  • verb distinguish oneself
    excel; surpass.
    • She excelled in math
  • verb steer away from shore, of ships
  • verb be stubborn in resolution or resistance

stand pat

  • verb refuse to abandon one's opinion or belief
    stand firm; stand fast; hold firm.

stand sentinel

  • verb watch over so as to protect
    stand guard; keep guard; stand sentinel.
    • We must stand sentinel to protect ourselves
    • The jewels over which they kept guard were stolen

stand still

  • verb remain in place; hold still; remain fixed or immobile
    • Traffic stood still when the funeral procession passed by

stand up

  • verb rise to one's feet
    get up; rise; uprise; arise.
    • The audience got up and applauded
  • verb refuse to back down; remain solid under criticism or attack
  • verb put into an upright position
    stand; place upright.
    • Can you stand the bookshelf up?
  • verb be standing; be upright
    • We had to stand for the entire performance!
  • verb defend against attack or criticism
    stick up.
    • He stood up for his friend
    • She stuck up for the teacher who was accused of harassing the student
  • verb resist or withstand wear, criticism, etc.
    hold water; hold up.
    • Her shoes won't hold up
    • This theory won't hold water
  • verb rise up as in fear
    uprise; bristle.
    • The dog's fur bristled
    • It was a sight to make one's hair uprise!

stand watch

  • verb watch over so as to protect
    stand guard; keep guard; stand sentinel.
    • We must stand sentinel to protect ourselves
    • The jewels over which they kept guard were stolen


  • adjective satellite capable of operating independently


Stand"-by` noun
  1. One who, or that which, stands by one in need; something upon which one relies for constant use or in an emergency.
Webster 1913


  • noun a suspension and relaxation from an alert state or a state of readiness
  • noun (military) a temporary stop of offensive military action


  • noun someone who takes the place of another (as when things get dangerous or difficult)
    fill-in; substitute; relief; backup; reliever; backup man.
    • the star had a stand-in for dangerous scenes
    • we need extra employees for summer fill-ins


  • adjective satellite requiring a standing position
    • a stand-up bar
    • a stand-up comic

standing army

  • noun a permanent army of paid soldiers

standing committee

  • noun a permanent committee

standing operating procedure

  • noun a prescribed procedure to be followed routinely
    SOP; standard operating procedure; standard procedure.
    • rote memorization has been the educator's standard operating procedure for centuries

standing order

  • noun a rule of order permanently in force

standing ovation

  • noun enthusiastic recognition (especially one accompanied by loud applause)

standing press

  • noun a large printing press that exerts pressure vertically

standing rib roast

  • noun a cut of meat (beef or venison) including more than one rib and the meat located along the outside of the ribs
    rib roast.

standing room

  • noun room for passengers or spectators to stand
    • there was standing room for thousands more people

standing stone

  • noun a tall upright megalith; found primarily in England and northern France

standing wave

  • noun a wave (as a sound wave in a chamber or an electromagnetic wave in a transmission line) in which the ratio of its instantaneous amplitude at one point to that at any other point does not vary with time
    stationary wave.

take a firm stand

  • verb be emphatic or resolute and refuse to budge
    • I must insist!

take the stand

  • verb give testimony in a court of law
    bear witness; attest; testify.

To be, ∨ To stand, a tiptoeon tiptoe

  • to be awake or alive to anything; to be roused; to be eager or alert; as, to be a tiptoe with expectation.
Webster 1913

To be at a stand

  • to be stationary or motionless; to be at a standstill; hence, to be perplexed; to be embarrassed.
Webster 1913

To be on the defensive, To stand on the defensive

  • to be or stand in a state or posture of defense or resistance, in opposition to aggression or attack.
Webster 1913

To make a stand

  • to halt for the purpose of offering resistance to a pursuing enemy.
Webster 1913

To put to a stand

  • to stop; to arrest by obstacles or difficulties.
Webster 1913

To stand against

  • to opposite; to resist.
Webster 1913

To stand at ease

  • (Mil.), to stand in a comfortable attitude in one's place in the ranks.
Webster 1913

To stand by

  • . (a) To be near; to be a spectator; to be present . (b) To be aside; to be aside with disregard .
    "In the interim [we] let the commands stand by neglected." Dr. H. More.
    (c) To maintain; to defend; to support; not to desert; as, to stand by one's principles or party. (d) To rest on for support; to be supported by . Whitgift.
  • to aid, to support.
Webster 1913

To stand corrected

  • to be set right, as after an error in a statement of fact. Wycherley.
Webster 1913

To stand fast

  • to be fixed; to be unshaken or immovable.
Webster 1913

To stand fire

  • to receive the fire of arms from an enemy without giving way.
Webster 1913

To stand firmly on

  • to be satisfied or convinced of.
    "Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty." Shak.
Webster 1913

To stand for

  • . (a), To side with; to espouse the cause of; to support; to maintain, or to profess or attempt to maintain; to defend.
    "I stand wholly for you." Shak.
    (b) To be in the place of; to be the substitute or to represent; as, a cipher at the left hand of a figure stands for nothing.
    "I will not trouble myself, whether these names stand for the same thing, or really include one another." Locke.
Webster 1913

To stand in

  • to cost.
    "The same standeth them in much less cost." Robynson (More's Utopia).
    The Punic wars could not have stood the human race in less than three millions of the species. Burke.
Webster 1913

To stand in awe of

  • to fear greatly; to reverence profoundly.
Webster 1913

To stand in hand

  • to conduce to one's interest; to be serviceable or advantageous.
Webster 1913

To stand in one's own light

  • to take a position which is injurious to one's own interest.
Webster 1913

To stand in stead, ∨ To do stead

  • to be of use or great advantage.
Webster 1913

To stand in the gate, ∨ gates

  • to occupy places or advantage, power, or defense.
Webster 1913

To stand in the gap

  • to expose one's self for the protection of something; to make defense against any assailing danger; to take the place of a fallen defender or supporter.
Webster 1913

To stand off

  • . (a) To keep at a distance . (b) Not to comply . (c) To keep at a distance in friendship, social intercourse, or acquaintance . (d) To appear prominent; to have relief . "Picture is best when it standeth off, as if it were carved." Sir H. Wotton.
Webster 1913

To stand off and on

  • (Naut.), to remain near a coast by sailing toward land and then from it.
Webster 1913

To stand on

  • (Naut.), to continue on the same tack or course.
Webster 1913

To stand on compliment

  • to treat with ceremony.
Webster 1913

To stand on one's own legs

  • to support one's self; to be independent.
Webster 1913

To stand one in hand

  • to concern or affect one.
Webster 1913

To stand one's ground

  • to stand firm; to resist attack or encroachment. Atterbury.
  • to keep the ground or station one has taken; to maintain one's position. "Pleasants and burghers, however brave, are unable to stand their ground against veteran soldiers." Macaulay.
Webster 1913

To stand out

  • . (a) To project; to be prominent . "Their eyes stand out with fatness." Psalm lxxiii. 7. (b) To persist in opposition or resistance; not to yield or comply; not to give way or recede.
    His spirit is come in, That so stood out against the holy church. Shak.
Webster 1913

To stand to

  • . (a) To ply; to urge; to persevere in using . "Stand to your tackles, mates, and stretch your oars." Dryden. (b) To remain fixed in a purpose or opinion. "I will stand to it, that this is his sense." Bp. Stillingfleet. (c) To abide by; to adhere to; as to a contrast, assertion, promise, etc.; as, to stand to an award; to stand to one's word. (d) Not to yield; not to fly; to maintain, as one's ground . "Their lives and fortunes were put in safety, whether they stood to it or ran away." Bacon. (e) To be consistent with; to agree with; as, it stands to reason that he could not have done so. (f) To support; to uphold . "Stand to me in this cause." Shak.
Webster 1913

To stand to sea

  • (Naut.), to direct the course from land.
Webster 1913

To stand together

  • to be consistent; to agree.
Webster 1913

To stand trial

  • to sustain the trial or examination of a cause; not to give up without trial.
Webster 1913

To stand under

  • to undergo; to withstand. Shak.
Webster 1913

To stand up

  • . (a) To rise from sitting; to be on the feet . (b) To arise in order to speak or act . "Against whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed." Acts xxv. 18. (c) To rise and stand on end, as the hair. (d) To put one's self in opposition; to contend . "Once we stood up about the corn." Shak.
Webster 1913

To stand up for

  • to defend; to justify; to support, or attempt to support; as, to stand up for the administration.
Webster 1913

To stand upon

  • . (a) To concern; to interest . (b) To value; to esteem . "We highly esteem and stand much upon our birth." Ray. (c) To insist on; to attach much importance to; as, to stand upon security; to stand upon ceremony. (d) To attack; to assault . A Hebraism
    "So I stood upon him, and slew him." 2 Sam. i. 10.
Webster 1913

To stand upon one's dignity

  • to have or to affect a high notion of one's own rank, privilege, or character.
Webster 1913

To stand with

  • to be consistent with. "It stands with reason that they should be rewarded liberally." Sir J. Davies.
Webster 1913

wash-hand stand

  • noun furniture consisting of a table or stand to hold a basin and pitcher of water for washing: `wash-hand stand' is a British term


Wa"ter-stand`ing adjective
  1. Tear-filled. R. "Many an orphan's water-standing eye." Shak.
Webster 1913

witness stand

  • noun a box enclosure for a witness when testifying
    witness box.

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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