Meaning of “stand by” in the English Dictionary

"stand by" in British English

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stand by

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

(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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More examples

  • Police in riot gear were standing by in case the demonstration got out of control.
  • The pilot told the cabin crew to stand by for take-off.
  • I'll be standing by in case you need me for anything.
  • Could you stand by in case I need help?
  • Fire fighters were standing by in case of emergencies.

(Definition of “stand by” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"stand by" in American English

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stand by

phrasal verb with stand us /stænd/ verb past tense and past participle stood /stʊd/

(LET HAPPEN)

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.

stand by

phrasal verb with stand us /stænd/ verb past tense and past participle stood /stʊd/

(BE PREPARED)

to be prepared for something:

The general ordered his troops to stand by for a possible attack.

(Definition of “stand by” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"stand by " in Business English

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stand by

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

[ I ] to be ready to do something:

The Central Bank was standing by, ready to intervene to prevent a further slide against the dollar.

[ T ] to show that you still believe or support something:

We stand by our view that rates may need to rise to 5% next year.
The Government lost a lot of voters because it failed to stand by its election promises.

(Definition of “stand by ” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)