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Meaning of “standby” in the English Dictionary

"standby" in British English

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standbynoun [C]

uk   /ˈstænd.baɪ/  us   /ˈstænd.baɪ/ (plural standbys)
  • standby noun [C] (READY)

something that is always ​ready for use, ​especially if a ​regular one ​fails: Board ​games are a good standby to ​keep the ​childrenamused if the ​weather is ​bad. There are standby ​generators but these usually only have to ​work for a few ​hours a ​year during ​powercuts.
on standby
When a ​person or a thing is on standby, they are ​ready to be used if ​necessary: Hospitals are on standby ​ready to ​deal with ​casualties from the ​crash.
(Definition of standby from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"standby" in American English

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standbynoun [C/U]

 us   /ˈstændˌbɑɪ/ (plural standbys)
something ​available for use when ​needed, or the ​state of being ​ready for use: I have several ​meals I use as standbys for ​unexpectedcompany. Cary also has ​sought to put more ​contractors on standby for ​majorstorms.
If you ​fly standby, you ​hold a ​ticket and are ​ready to ​travel when ​spacebecomesavailable on a ​flight.
Idioms
(Definition of standby from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"standby" in Business English

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standbynoun [C]

(plural standbys) (also stand-by) uk   us   /ˈstændbaɪ/
a ​person or thing that is ​available and that can be used when necessary, if another ​person or thing is not ​available, or in an ​emergency: They ​manufactureportableGPSsystems which can be used as an ​emergency standby.
(also standby ticket) TRANSPORT a ​cheapticketsold just before a ​flight or a ​performance if there is a ​seatavailable
fly standby
TRANSPORT to ​travel by ​plane using a ​ticket that cannot be ​bought in ​advance, but that becomes ​available just before the ​plane is ​due to ​leave: Employees at some ​airlines can ​fly for ​free if they ​fly standby.
on standby
ready to be used or to do something if necessary: They have 700 gritters and ​snow ploughs on ​24-hour standby in ​order to prepare for the ​freezing temperatures.leave sth on standby You should make sure that ​electricalgoods are not ​left on standby, because it ​wastesenergy.remain/be put on standby Economists are remaining on standby for the all-important ​employmentreport for August.
TRANSPORT a ​person who is on standby is ​ready to ​travel on a ​plane immediately if a ​ticket becomes ​available: The ​salesmenbook the ​cheapestflight they can ​find on the day they want to ​fly, then go to wait on standby for the ​flight they really want to get aboard.

standbyadjective [before noun]

(also stand-by) uk   us   /ˈstændbaɪ/
ready to be used if necessary: a standby ​generator If the ​computer is ​left undisturbed for five ​minutes, it goes into standby ​mode. The ​phoneoffers up to four ​hours of ​talktime and 106 ​hours of standby ​time.
ECONOMICS relating to ​extramoney that a country can ​borrow from the International Monetary Fund if it has serious ​financial difficulties: a standby ​agreement/​arrangement/​loan standby ​credit
sold just before a ​flight or a ​performance if there is a ​seatavailable: a standby ​flight/​seat
(Definition of standby from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“standby” in British English

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