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English definition of “stand by”

stand by

(LET HAPPEN) phrasal verb with stand    /stænd/ verb (past tense and past participle stood  /stʊd/)
to let something happen or to be unable to prevent something: How could anyone simply stand by while the man was robbed? We stood by helplessly while the fire destroyed our barn.
(Definition of stand by (LET HAPPEN) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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