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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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