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stand by - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theystand by
he/she/itstands by
present participlestanding by
past tensestood by
past participlestood by
  1. 1
    [intransitive] [often progressive] to be ready to do something

    A boat will be standing by in case of an emergency.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to not take action when you should

    We can’t just stand by and watch her die.

  3. 3
    [transitive] stand by someone to be loyal to someone who is in a difficult situation

    We knew they would stand by us no matter what we’d done.

  4. 4
    [transitive] stand by something to continue to have a particular belief or opinion, even though other people have doubts about it or disagree with you

    The doctors are standing by their claim that they are not at fault.

See also main entry: stand

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