Meaning of STAND in English

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

stand back/aside

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

stand on/in

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

stand at

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

stand for

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

stand on

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

stand of

a stand of eucalyptus trees

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.