Definition of standby noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈstændbaɪ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈstændbaɪ//
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  • (pl. standbys) a person or thing that can always be used if needed, for example if somebody/something else is not available or if there is an emergency I always keep a pizza in the freezer as a standby. a standby electricity generator Wilson has been called into the squad as a standby. A dark suit is a useful standby for any formal occasion.
  • Idioms
    1. 1ready to do something immediately if needed or asked The emergency services were put on standby after a bomb warning. As the level of the water rose, villages were put on evacuation standby. The troops are on 24-hour standby (= ready to move at an time of the day or night).
    2. 2ready to travel or go somewhere if a ticket or something that is needed suddenly becomes available He was put on standby for the flight to New York.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: standby

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