Language: Old English
Origin: standan


1 verb
stand1 S1 W1 past tense and past participle stood

be on feet

also be standing up [intransitive] to support yourself on your feet or be in an upright position:
It looks like we'll have to stand - there are no seats left.
She stood in the doorway.
Stand still (=do not move) and listen to me.
Don't just stand there (=stand and not do anything) - help me!
stand on tiptoe/stand on your toes (=support yourself on your toes)
If he stood on tiptoe, he could reach the shelf.
stand (somewhere) doing something
They just stood there laughing.
We stood watching the rain fall.


also stand up [intransitive] to rise to an upright position:
Smiling, she stood and closed the blinds.


[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
a) to step a short distance
stand back/aside
She stood back to let him in.
stand clear of something British English (=step away from something in order to be safe)
Stand clear of the doors, please.
b) British English to accidentally step on or in something
stand on/in
Don't stand in that puddle!

in a particular position

[intransitive,transitive usually + adverb/preposition] to be upright in a particular position, or to put something or someone somewhere in an upright position:
A lamp stood on the table.
Near the railway station stood a hotel.
Some remains of the original house still stand.
stand something on/in etc something
Can you stand that pole in the corner for now?
I closed the lid and stood the case against the wall.
stand somebody (up) on something
Stand Molly up on a chair so she can see.

in a state/condition

[linking verb] to be or stay in a particular state or condition:
The kitchen door stood open so she went in.
stand empty/idle (=not being used)
scores of derelict houses standing empty
I'm not too thrilled with the way things stand (=the state that the situation is in) at the moment.
The evidence as it stands (=as it is now) cannot be conclusive.
where/how do things stand? (=used to ask what is happening in a situation)
Where do things stand in terms of the budget?
I will know within the next month or two how I stand (=what my situation is).
stand united/divided (=agree or disagree completely)
He urged the whole community to stand united and to reject terrorism.
stand prepared/ready to do something (=be prepared to do something whenever it is necessary)
We should stand ready to do what is necessary to guarantee the peace.
countries that have stood together (=stayed united) in times of crisis
stand in awe of somebody (=admire them, be afraid of them, or both)

not like

can't stand

spoken used to say that you do not like someone or something at all, or that you think that something is extremely unpleasant [= can't bear]:
I can't stand bad manners.
can't stand (somebody/something) doing something
Lily can't stand working in an office.
I can't stand people smoking around me when I'm eating.
can't stand to do something
She can't stand to hear them arguing.

accept a situation

[transitive usually in questions and negatives] to be able to accept or deal well with a difficult situation [= tolerate]
can/could stand something
I couldn't stand the thought of leaving Danielle.
I've had about as much as I can stand of your arguing!
I don't know if I can stand the waiting any longer.
can stand somebody doing something
How can you stand Marty coming home late all the time?
She's a strong woman who stands no nonsense from anyone.

be good enough

[transitive] to be good or strong enough to last a long time or to experience a particular situation without being harmed, damaged, etc:
Linen can stand very high temperatures.
His poetry will stand the test of time (=stay popular).

stand to do something

to be likely to do or have something
stand to gain/lose/win/make
What do firms think they stand to gain by merging?
After the oil spill, thousands of fishermen stand to lose their livelihoods.

not move

[intransitive] to stay in a particular place without moving [↪ standstill]:
The car's been standing in the garage for weeks.
The mixture was left to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
The train was already standing at the platform.


[linking verb] formal to be a particular height:
The trophy stands 5 feet high.
John stood 6 feet tall.


[linking verb] to be at a particular level or amount
stand at
His former workforce of 1,300 now stands at 220.
Illiteracy rates are still thought to stand above 50 percent.


[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to have a particular rank or position when compared with similar things or people [= rank]:
The president stands high in the public opinion polls.
How do their sales stand in relation to those of similar firms?
His book could stand alongside the best.


[intransitive] British English to try to become elected to a council, parliament etc [= run American English]
stand for
She announced her intention to stand for Parliament.


[intransitive not in progressive] if a decision, offer etc stands, it continues to exist, be correct, or be valid:
Despite protests, the official decision stood.
My offer of help still stands.

if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen

used to tell someone that they should leave a job or situation if they cannot deal with its difficulties

somebody/something could stand something

used to say very directly that it would be a good idea for someone to do something or for something to happen:
His smile exposed teeth that could stand a good scrubbing.
somebody could stand to do something
My doctor told me I could stand to lose a few pounds.

I stand corrected

spoken formal used to admit that your opinion or something that you just said was wrong

where somebody stands

someone's opinion about something
where somebody stands on
We still do not know where he stands on the matter.
You must decide where you stand.

from where I stand

spoken according to what I know or feel:
I knew from where I stood that the stocks were practically worthless.

know where you stand (with somebody)

to know how someone feels about you, or what you are allowed to do in a particular situation:
At least we know where we stand with Steven now.
I'd like to know where I stand.
It helps to know where you stand legally.

stand to attention

British EnglishPMA ; stand at attention American English if soldiers stand to attention, they stand very straight and stiff to show respect

stand on your head/hands

to support yourself on your head or hands, with your feet in the air

stand in line

American English to wait in a line of people until it is your turn to do something [= queue British English]
Customers stood in line for 20 minutes at the cash register.

stand firm/stand fast

a) to refuse to be forced to move backwards:
She stood firm, blocking the entrance.
b) to refuse to change your opinions, intentions, or behaviour:
The government continued to stand firm and no concessions were made.
stand firm/stand fast on/against
He stands firm on his convictions.

stand pat

American English to refuse to change a decision, plan etc
stand pat on
Harry's standing pat on his decision to fire Janice.

stand alone

a) to continue to do something alone, without help from anyone else:
Some of the Pacific islands are too small to stand alone as independent states.
b) to be much better than anything or anyone else:
For sheer entertainment value, Kelly stood alone.

stand still

to not change or progress at all, even though time has passed:
No industry can stand still.
Time seems to have stood still in this lovely hotel.

stand a chance/hope (of doing something)

to be likely to be able to do something or to succeed:
You'll stand a better chance of getting a job with a degree.
Maybe their relationship had never really stood a chance.

stand in somebody's way

also stand in the way to prevent someone from doing something:
I always encouraged Brian. I didn't want to stand in his way.
You can't stand in the way of progress!

stand on your own (two) feet

to be able to do what you need to do, earn your own money, etc without help from others:
She's never learned to stand on her own feet.

it stands to reason (that)

used to say that something should be completely clear to anyone who is sensible:
It stands to reason that you cannot find the right person to do a job unless you know exactly what that job is.

stand or fall by/on something

to depend on something for success:
The case against him will stand or fall on its own merits.


[intransitive] a liquid that stands does not flow or is not made to move:
standing pools of marsh water

stand guard (over somebody/something)

XX to watch someone or something so that they do not do anything wrong or so that nothing bad happens to them:
Soldiers stand guard on street corners.
You must stand guard over him at all times.

stand bail

British English to promise to pay money if someone does not return to a court of law to be judged

stand trial

SCL to be brought to a court of law to have your case examined and judged
stand trial for/on
Gresham will stand trial for murder.
The accused was ordered to stand trial on a number of charges.

stand accused (of something)

a) SCL to be the person in a court of law who is being judged for a crime:
The former president stands accused of lying to the nation's parliament.
b) if you stand accused of doing something bad or wrong, other people say that you have done it:
The radio station stands accused of racism.

stand tall

a) to stand with your back straight and your head raised:
Stand tall with your feet comfortably apart.
b) American English to be proud and feel ready to deal with anything:
We will stand tall and fight for issues of concern to our community.

somebody can do something standing on their head

informal used to say that someone is able to do something easily:
This is basic stuff. I can do it standing on my head.

be stood on its head

if something is stood on its head, it becomes the opposite of what it was before:
One area of the business which has been stood on its head is internal communications.

not stand on ceremony

British English to not worry about the formal rules of polite behaviour:
Come on, Mal, don't stand on ceremony here at home.

stand somebody a drink/meal etc

British English to pay for something as a gift to someone:
Come on, Jack, I'll stand you a drink if you like.

➔ make somebody's hair stand on end

at hair (8)

➔ leave somebody/something standing

at leave1 (15)

➔ not have a leg to stand on

at leg1 (7)

➔ stand/serve/hold somebody in good stead

at stead (2)

➔ stand your ground

at ground1 (7)

stand against somebody/something

phrasal verb
to oppose a person, organization, plan, decision etc:
She hadn't the strength to stand against her aunt's demands.
There are only a hundred of them standing against an army of 42,000 troops.

stand around

phrasal verb
to stand somewhere and not do anything:
We stood around saying goodbye for a while.

stand by

phrasal verb
1 to not do anything to help someone or prevent something from happening [↪ bystander]:
I'm not going to stand by and see her hurt.

stand by something

to keep a promise, agreement etc, or to say that something is still true:
I stand by what I said earlier.
He stood by his convictions.

stand by somebody

to stay loyal to someone and support them, especially in a difficult situation:
His wife stood by him during his years in prison.
4 to be ready to do something if necessary [↪ standby]:
Rescue crews were standing by in case of a breakdown.
stand by for
Stand by for our Christmas competition.
stand by to do something
Police stood by to arrest any violent fans.

stand down

phrasal verb
1 to agree to leave your position or to stop trying to be elected, so that someone else can have a chance [= step down American English]
stand down as
He was obliged to stand down as a Parliamentary candidate.
2SCL to leave the witness box in a court of law

stand (somebody) down

PM if a soldier stands down or is stood down, he stops working for the day

stand for something

phrasal verb
1 if a letter or symbol stands for something, it represents a word or idea, especially as a short form:
What does ATM stand for?
2 to support a particular set of ideas, values, or principles:
It's hard to tell what the party stands for these days.

not stand for something

British English to not allow something to continue to happen or someone to do something:
She's been lying about me, and I won't stand for it.

stand in

phrasal verb
to temporarily do someone else's job or take their place [↪ stand-in]
stand in for
Would you mind standing in for me for a while?

stand out

phrasal verb
1 to be very easy to see or notice:
The outlines of rooftops and chimneys stood out against the pale sky.
I am sure illnesses stand out in all childhood memories.
2 to be much better than other similar people or things [↪ standout]
stand out as
That day still stands out as the greatest day in my life.
stand out from/among/above
Three of the cars we tested stood out among the rest.
3 to rise up from a surface:
The veins stood out on his throat and temples.

stand out against something

phrasal verb
to be strongly opposed to an idea, plan etc:
We must stand out against bigotry.

stand over somebody

phrasal verb
to stand very close behind someone and watch as they work to make sure they do nothing wrong:
I can't concentrate with him standing over me like that.

stand to

phrasal verb
PMA to order a soldier to move into a position so that they are ready for action, or to move into this position
stand somebody ↔ to
The men have been stood to.

stand up

phrasal verb
1 to be on your feet or to rise to your feet [↪ stand-up]:
I've been standing up all day.
Stand up straight and don't slouch!
Jim stood up stiffly.
2 [always + adverb/preposition] to stay healthy or in good condition in a difficult environment or after a lot of hard use
stand up to
Most of the plants stood up well to the heat.
3 to be proved to be true, correct, useful etc when tested
stand up to/under
The memoirs stand up well to cross-checking with other records.
Without a witness, the charges will never stand up in court (=be successfully proved in a court of law).

stand somebody up

informal to not meet someone who you have arranged to meet:
I was supposed to go to a concert with Kyle on Friday, but he stood me up.

stand up and be counted

to make it very clear what you think about something when this is dangerous or might cause trouble for you

stand up for somebody/something

phrasal verb
to support or defend a person or idea when they are being attacked:
It's time we stood up for our rights.
Silvia is capable of standing up for herself.

stand up to somebody/something

phrasal verb
to refuse to accept unfair treatment from a person or organization:
He'll respect you more if you stand up to him.
Cliff couldn't stand up to bullying.

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