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English definition of “stand by”

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stand by

verb uk phrasal verb with stand   /stænd/ (stood, stood) us  

(BE READY)

to be waiting and ready to do something or to help: Cabin crew, please stand by for take-off.
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(DO NOTHING)

to allow something unpleasant to happen without doing anything to stop it: We can't stand by while millions of people starve.
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(Definition of stand by from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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