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stand - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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verb     stand pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestanding
past tensestood
past participlestood
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to have your body in an upright position supported by your feet

    The subway was full and we had to stand all the way to Battery Park.

    stand by/at/on/behind etc.:

    Mrs. Carter was standing by the open window.

    The man standing behind him spoke.

    stand with your back to someone/something:

    He was standing with his back to her.

    stand doing something:

    He stood looking at them in silence.

    stand and do something:

    The children stood and watched.

    stand still (=not move):

    They all stood still and listened to the birds singing.

    Stand still and let me brush your hair.

    1. a.
      to stand and be unable to move because you are reacting in a particular way to something
      stand motionless/transfixed/open-mouthed etc.:

      She stood transfixed as the movie star approached her.

  2. 2



    stand up

    [intransitive] to move from sitting or bending down into an upright position

    The whole courtroom stood as the judge entered.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to put your foot on or in something by accident
    stand on/in:

    He apologized for standing on my foot.

    I just stood in something disgusting.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] if an object or building stands somewhere, it is in a particular position

    His statue stands in the city square.

    Their house stood at the top of a hill.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to put an object or a person somewhere in an upright position

      Stand the bookcase against the far wall.

    2. b.
      [intransitive] if something such as a building is standing, it has not been destroyed
      still standing:

      The ancient family home is still standing.

      left standing:

      Only a few homes were left standing after the earthquake.

    3. c.
      [intransitive] used for talking about the state or condition of a building or object
      stand empty/idle:

      The old factory now stood empty.

      Several ships are standing idle in the port as the dock strike continues.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] if a car, train, airplane, etc. stands somewhere, it remains there without moving, waiting to be used

    Luckily, the train was still standing at the platform.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to be in a particular situation or state
    where/how something stands:

    How do negotiations stand at the moment?

    know where you stand (with someone) (=understand your position):

    He might seem rude, but at least you know where you stand with him.

    as it stands/as things stand:

    As it stands, the law doesn’t allow a local court to take such action.

  7. 7
    [intransitive] to behave in a particular way

    He stood aloof from the daily operations of the office.

    stand ready/prepared:

    We stand ready to sign any reasonable agreement that you produce.

    stand together/united:

    So long as we all stand together, we’ll win.

  8. 8
    [intransitive] to be a particular height

    Their father stands well over six feet.

  9. 9
    [intransitive] if something such as an offer, a law, or a record stands, it remains in existence or use

    Her world record has stood for nearly 20 years.

    still stands:

    Tell him my offer still stands.

  10. 10
    [transitive] [usually in negatives or questions] to be willing to accept something that someone does

    I can’t stand his lies anymore.

    I won’t stand any more arguing from you.

    How can you stand all that noise?

    stand someone doing something:

    I won’t stand them interrupting me all the time.

  11. 11
    [intransitive] to have a particular attitude or view about a person or subject
    where someone stands on something:

    Where does the senator stand on this issue?

  12. 12
    [transitive] to be good or strong enough not to be badly affected or damaged by something

    These are plants that do not stand the cold well.

    stand the strain:

    I didn’t think these boots would stand the strain of such a long walk.

  13. 13
    [intransitive] if a liquid stands, it is still and does not flow

    soil where water stands in the winter

  14. 14
    [intransitive] if a food, drink, or mixture stands, nothing is done to it so that its flavors can develop and become stronger
    leave/allow something to stand for something:

    Leave the mixture to stand for 20 minutes.

  15. 15
    [transitive] to perform a particular job or service
    stand guard (over someone/something):

    Two men were left standing guard over the prisoners.

    stand bail/surety (for someone) (=accept a legal or financial responsibility for someone):

    No one would stand bail for him.

    Synonyms and related words
  16. 16
    [transitive] informal old-fashioned to buy something for someone, especially food or drink
    stand someone something:

    I’ll stand you a cup of coffee if you’re out of money.

  17. 17
    [intransitive] British to run in an election
  18. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    let something stand to leave something unchanged; to let something remain in place

    The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a California law that bans licensed therapists from working with children to change their sexual orientation.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 03/05/2017
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