I. stand 1 S1 W1 /stænd/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle stood /stʊd/)
[ Word Family: adjective : ↑ standing , ↑ outstanding , ↑ upstanding ; noun : ↑ stand , ↑ standing ; verb : ↑ stand ; adverb : ↑ outstandingly ]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: standan ]
1 . BE ON FEET ( also be standing up ) [intransitive] to support yourself on your feet or be in an upright position:
It looks like we’ll have to stand – there are no seats left.
She stood in the doorway.
Stand still (=do not move) and listen to me.
Don’t just stand there (=stand and not do anything) – help me!
stand on tiptoe/stand on your toes (=support yourself on your toes)
If he stood on tiptoe, he could reach the shelf.
stand (somewhere) doing something
They just stood there laughing.
We stood watching the rain fall.
2 . RISE ( also stand up ) [intransitive] to rise to an upright position:
Smiling, she stood and closed the blinds.
3 . STEP [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
a) to step a short distance
She stood back to let him in.
stand clear of something British English (=step away from something in order to be safe)
Stand clear of the doors, please.
b) British English to accidentally step on or in something
Don’t stand in that puddle!
4 . IN A PARTICULAR POSITION [intransitive, transitive usually + adverb/preposition] to be upright in a particular position, or to put something or someone somewhere in an upright position:
A lamp stood on the table.
Near the railway station stood a hotel.
Some remains of the original house still stand.
stand something on/in etc something
Can you stand that pole in the corner for now?
I closed the lid and stood the case against the wall.
stand somebody (up) on something
Stand Molly up on a chair so she can see.
5 . IN A STATE/CONDITION [linking verb] to be or stay in a particular state or condition:
The kitchen door stood open so she went in.
stand empty/idle (=not being used)
scores of derelict houses standing empty
I’m not too thrilled with the way things stand (=the state that the situation is in) at the moment.
The evidence, as it stands (=as it is now) , cannot be conclusive.
where/how do things stand? (=used to ask what is happening in a situation)
Where do things stand in terms of the budget?
I will know within the next month or two how I stand (=what my situation is) .
stand united/divided (=agree or disagree completely)
He urged the whole community to stand united and to reject terrorism.
stand prepared/ready to do something (=be prepared to do something whenever it is necessary)
We should stand ready to do what is necessary to guarantee the peace.
countries that have stood together (=stayed united) in times of crisis
stand in awe of somebody (=admire them, be afraid of them, or both)
6 . NOT LIKE can’t stand spoken used to say that you do not like someone or something at all, or that you think that something is extremely unpleasant SYN can’t bear :
I can’t stand bad manners.
I know he can’t stand the sight of me.
can’t stand (somebody/something) doing something
Lily can’t stand working in an office.
I can’t stand people smoking around me when I’m eating.
can’t stand to do something
She can’t stand to hear them arguing.
7 . ACCEPT A SITUATION [transitive usually in questions and negatives] to be able to accept or deal well with a difficult situation SYN tolerate
can/could stand something
I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving Danielle.
I’ve had about as much as I can stand of your arguing!
I don’t know if I can stand the waiting any longer.
can stand somebody doing something
How can you stand Marty coming home late all the time?
She’s a strong woman who stands no nonsense from anyone.
8 . BE GOOD ENOUGH [transitive] to be good or strong enough to last a long time or to experience a particular situation without being harmed, damaged etc:
Linen can stand very high temperatures.
His poetry will stand the test of time (=stay popular) .
9 . stand to do something to be likely to do or have something
stand to gain/lose/win/make
What do firms think they stand to gain by merging?
After the oil spill, thousands of fishermen stand to lose their livelihoods.
10 . NOT MOVE [intransitive] to stay in a particular place without moving ⇨ standstill :
The car’s been standing in the garage for weeks.
The mixture was left to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
The train was already standing at the platform.
11 . HEIGHT [linking verb] formal to be a particular height:
The trophy stands five feet high.
John stood six feet tall.
12 . LEVEL/AMOUNT [linking verb] to be at a particular level or amount
His former workforce of 1,300 now stands at 220.
Illiteracy rates are still thought to stand above 50 percent.
13 . RANK/POSITION [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to have a particular rank or position when compared with similar things or people SYN rank :
The president stands high in the public opinion polls.
How do their sales stand in relation to those of similar firms?
His book could stand alongside the best.
14 . ELECTION [intransitive] British English to try to become elected to a council, parliament etc SYN run American English
She announced her intention to stand for parliament.
15 . DECISION/OFFER [intransitive not in progressive] if a decision, offer etc stands, it continues to exist, be correct, or be ↑ valid :
Despite protests, the official decision stood.
My offer of help still stands.
16 . if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen used to tell someone that they should leave a job or situation if they cannot deal with its difficulties
17 . somebody/something could stand something used to say very directly that it would be a good idea for someone to do something or for something to happen:
His smile exposed teeth that could stand a good scrubbing.
somebody could stand to do something
My doctor told me I could stand to lose a few pounds.
18 . I stand corrected spoken formal used to admit that your opinion or something that you just said was wrong
19 . where somebody stands someone’s opinion about something
where somebody stands on
We still do not know where he stands on the matter.
You must decide where you stand.
20 . from where I stand spoken according to what I know or feel:
I knew from where I stood that the stocks were practically worthless.
21 . know where you stand (with somebody) to know how someone feels about you, or what you are allowed to do in a particular situation:
At least we know where we stand with Steven now.
I’d like to know where I stand.
It helps to know where you stand legally.
22 . stand to attention British English , stand at attention American English if soldiers stand to attention, they stand very straight and stiff to show respect
23 . stand on your head/hands to support yourself on your head or hands, with your feet in the air
24 . stand in line American English to wait in a line of people until it is your turn to do something SYN queue British English :
Customers stood in line for 20 minutes at the cash register.
25 . stand firm/stand fast
a) to refuse to be forced to move backwards:
She stood firm, blocking the entrance.
b) to refuse to change your opinions, intentions, or behaviour:
The government continued to stand firm and no concessions were made.
stand firm/stand fast on/against
He stands firm on his convictions.
26 . stand pat American English to refuse to change a decision, plan etc
stand pat on
Harry’s standing pat on his decision to fire Janice.
27 . stand alone
a) to continue to do something alone, without help from anyone else:
Some of the Pacific islands are too small to stand alone as independent states.
b) to be much better than anything or anyone else:
For sheer entertainment value, Kelly stood alone.
28 . stand still to not change or progress at all, even though time has passed:
No industry can stand still.
Time seems to have stood still in this lovely hotel.
29 . stand a chance/hope (of doing something) to be likely to be able to do something or to succeed:
You’ll stand a better chance of getting a job with a degree.
Maybe their relationship had never really stood a chance.
30 . stand in sb’s way ( also stand in the way ) to prevent someone from doing something:
I always encouraged Brian. I didn’t want to stand in his way.
You can’t stand in the way of progress!
31 . stand on your own (two) feet to be able to do what you need to do, earn your own money, etc without help from others:
She’s never learned to stand on her own feet.
32 . it stands to reason (that) used to say that something should be completely clear to anyone who is sensible:
It stands to reason that you cannot find the right person to do a job unless you know exactly what that job is.
33 . stand or fall by/on something to depend on something for success:
The case against him will stand or fall on its own merits.
34 . LIQUID [intransitive] a liquid that stands does not flow or is not made to move:
standing pools of marsh water
35 . stand guard (over somebody/something) to watch someone or something so that they do not do anything wrong or so that nothing bad happens to them:
Soldiers stand guard on street corners.
You must stand guard over him at all times.
36 . stand bail British English to promise to pay money if someone does not return to a court of law to be judged
37 . stand trial to be brought to a court of law to have your case examined and judged
stand trial for/on
Gresham will stand trial for murder.
The accused was ordered to stand trial on a number of charges.
38 . stand accused (of something)
a) to be the person in a court of law who is being judged for a crime:
The former president stands accused of lying to the nation’s parliament.
b) if you stand accused of doing something bad or wrong, other people say that you have done it:
The radio station stands accused of racism.
39 . stand tall
a) to stand with your back straight and your head raised:
Stand tall with your feet comfortably apart.
b) American English to be proud and feel ready to deal with anything:
We will stand tall and fight for issues of concern to our community.
40 . somebody can do something standing on their head informal used to say that someone is able to do something easily:
This is basic stuff. I can do it standing on my head.
41 . be stood on its head if something is stood on its head, it becomes the opposite of what it was before:
One area of the business which has been stood on its head is internal communications.
42 . not stand on ceremony British English to not worry about the formal rules of polite behaviour:
Come on, Mal. Don’t stand on ceremony here at home.
43 . stand somebody a drink/meal etc British English to pay for something as a gift to someone:
Come on, Jack. I’ll stand you a drink if you like.
⇨ make sb’s hair stand on end at ↑ hair (8), ⇨ leave somebody/something standing at ↑ leave 1 (15), ⇨ not have a leg to stand on at ↑ leg 1 (7), ⇨ stand/serve/hold somebody in good stead at ↑ stead (2), ⇨ stand your ground at ↑ ground 1 (7)
• • •
▪ stand to be on your feet in an upright position:
There were no seats, so we had to stand.
When we entered, Stephen was standing by his desk.
▪ be on your feet to be standing, especially for a long time:
If you have young kids, you’re on your feet all day.
I’d been on my feet since 7 o'clock and I needed to sit down.
The crowd were all on their feet clapping and calling for more.
▪ get up to stand after you have been sitting or lying down:
He got up and turned off the TV.
Mum fell in her flat and was unable to get up.
▪ stand up to stand after you have been sitting, or to be in a standing position:
I stood up when she came in and shook her hand.
It’s generally better to do this exercise standing up.
▪ get to your feet written to stand up, especially slowly or when it is difficult for you:
My attorney got slowly to his feet, breathing heavily.
▪ rise formal to stand after you have been sitting, especially at a formal event:
As the bride entered the cathedral, the congregation rose.
Audience members rose to their feet, cheering and clapping.
stand against somebody/something phrasal verb
to oppose a person, organization, plan, decision etc:
She hadn’t the strength to stand against her aunt’s demands.
There are only a hundred of them standing against an army of 42,000 troops.
stand around phrasal verb
to stand somewhere and not do anything:
We stood around saying goodbye for a while.
stand by phrasal verb
1 . to not do anything to help someone or prevent something from happening ⇨ bystander :
I’m not going to stand by and see her hurt.
2 . stand by something to keep a promise, agreement etc, or to say that something is still true:
I stand by what I said earlier.
He stood by his convictions.
3 . stand by somebody to stay loyal to someone and support them, especially in a difficult situation:
His wife stood by him during his years in prison.
4 . to be ready to do something if necessary ⇨ standby :
Rescue crews were standing by in case of a breakdown.
stand by for
Stand by for our Christmas competition.
stand by to do something
Police stood by to arrest any violent fans.
stand down phrasal verb British English
1 . to agree to leave your position or to stop trying to be elected, so that someone else can have a chance SYN step down American English
stand down as
He was obliged to stand down as a parliamentary candidate.
2 . to leave the ↑ witness box in a court of law
3 . stand (somebody) down if a soldier stands down or is stood down, he stops working for the day
stand for something phrasal verb
1 . if a letter or symbol stands for something, it represents a word or idea, especially as a short form:
What does ATM stand for?
2 . to support a particular set of ideas, values, or principles:
It’s hard to tell what the party stands for these days.
3 . not stand for something British English to not allow something to continue to happen or someone to do something:
She’s been lying about me, and I won’t stand for it.
stand in phrasal verb
to temporarily do someone else’s job or take their place ⇨ stand-in
stand in for
Would you mind standing in for me for a while?
stand out phrasal verb
1 . to be very easy to see or notice:
The outlines of rooftops and chimneys stood out against the pale sky.
She always stood out in a crowd.
I am sure illnesses stand out in all childhood memories.
2 . to be much better than other similar people or things ⇨ standout
stand out as
That day still stands out as the greatest day in my life.
stand out from/among/above
Three of the cars we tested stood out among the rest.
3 . to rise up from a surface:
The veins stood out on his throat and temples.
stand out against something phrasal verb British English
to be strongly opposed to an idea, plan etc:
We must stand out against bigotry.
stand over somebody phrasal verb
to stand very close behind someone and watch as they work to make sure they do nothing wrong:
I can’t concentrate with him standing over me like that.
stand to phrasal verb British English
to order a soldier to move into a position so that they are ready for action, or to move into this position
stand somebody to
The men have been stood to.
stand up phrasal verb
1 . to be on your feet, or to rise to your feet ⇨ stand-up :
I’ve been standing up all day.
Stand up straight and don’t slouch!
Jim stood up stiffly.
2 . [always + adverb/preposition] to stay healthy or in good condition in a difficult environment or after a lot of hard use
stand up to
Most of the plants stood up well to the heat.
3 . to be proved to be true, correct, useful etc when tested
stand up to/under
The memoirs stand up well to cross-checking with other records.
Without a witness, the charges will never stand up in court (=be successfully proved in a court of law) .
4 . stand somebody up informal to not meet someone who you have arranged to meet:
I was supposed to go to a concert with Kyle on Friday, but he stood me up.
5 . stand up and be counted to make it very clear what you think about something when this is dangerous or might cause trouble for you
stand up for somebody/something phrasal verb
to support or defend a person or idea when they are being attacked:
It’s time we stood up for our rights.
Silvia is capable of standing up for herself.
stand up to somebody/something phrasal verb
to refuse to accept unfair treatment from a person or organization:
He’ll respect you more if you stand up to him.
Cliff couldn’t stand up to bullying.
II. stand 2 BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Word Family: adjective : ↑ standing , ↑ outstanding , ↑ upstanding ; noun : ↑ stand , ↑ standing ; verb : ↑ stand ; adverb : ↑ outstandingly ]
1 . FOR SUPPORT a piece of furniture or equipment used to hold or support something:
a music stand
a cake stand
He adjusted the microphone stand.
coat stand/hat stand (=for hanging coats or hats on)
2 . FOR SELLING a table or small structure used for selling or showing things SYN stall British English :
a hotdog stand
an exhibition stand
The shop was crowded with display stands and boxes.
One week, three magazines hit the stands (=became available to buy) with Peace Corps stories.
⇨ ↑ newsstand
3 . OPINION/ATTITUDE [usually singular] a position or opinion that you state firmly and publicly
the Republicans’ conservative stand on social and environmental issues
She was accused of not taking a stand on feminism or civil rights.
4 . OPPOSE/DEFEND a strong effort to defend yourself or to oppose something
take/make/mount a stand (against something)
We have to take a stand against racism.
5 . the stands [plural] ( also the stand British English ) a building where people stand or sit to watch the game at a sports ground ⇨ grandstand :
In the stands, fifty of Jill’s friends and family have come to watch her last game.
6 . the stand a ↑ witness box :
Will the next witness please take the stand (=go into the witness box) ?
7 . CRICKET the period of time in which two BATSMEN are playing together in a game of ↑ cricket , or the points that they get during this time
8 . TAXIS/BUSES a place where taxis or buses stop and wait for passengers:
There’s a taxi stand on Glen Road.
9 . TREES a group of trees of one type growing close together
a stand of eucalyptus trees