Definition of stand-up in English:



  • 1attributive Involving, done by, or engaged in by people standing up.

    ‘a stand-up party’
    • ‘Game retailers encourage potential customers to preview soon-to-be domestic games, encased within stand-up arcade consoles.’
    • ‘Along with a game of stand-up bingo, and a turn by David Beesley as ‘Luciano Pavasnotty’, the audience was kept entertained all night.’
    • ‘There is a carpeted bathroom on the return: this is fitted with a corner stand-up shower unit, handbasin and separate toilet.’
    1. 1.1 (of comedy or a comedian) performed or performing by standing in front of an audience and telling jokes.
      ‘a stand-up comic’
      ‘his stand-up routine depends on improvised observations’
      • ‘Smith, who was born in 1951, set out to be a painter, but exposure to performance art, video and stand-up comedy led him in other directions.’
      • ‘Featuring a variety of music, stand-up comedy, dance and illusion, Bollywood Nights aims to be a fun night out for the family.’
      • ‘It was the first time yours truly, Robert Cullen, stepped on to a stage to perform stand-up comedy.’
      • ‘Fallen comic Michael Barrymore returned to stand-up comedy for the first time in years last night as he attempted to resurrect his career in the West End.’
      • ‘A fellow blogger recommended me to do stand-up comedy when the ‘lame jokes’ trend is in again.’
      • ‘The benefit will feature a variety of acts, from klezmer to jazz to stand-up comedy.’
      • ‘For example, Eddie Izzard's stand-up comedy performance film Dress To Kill includes a commentary track by him.’
      • ‘Despite the discouraging situation, he was fuelled with material for his stand-up comedy routine.’
      • ‘After my show last night, a woman approached me to ask me if I'd consider performing stand-up comedy at her wedding.’
      • ‘‘We were fans of the first wave of alternative stand-up comedy in the late 1980s,’ says Irish-born Sheppard.’
      • ‘This year the Arts Alive International Festival promises to be an extravaganza, with music, dance, art, poetry, stand-up comedy and theatre on the bill.’
      • ‘The first independent entrant, LCDR Simon Rooke, worked the crowd with his stand-up comedy routine, which proved very popular.’
      • ‘At the stand-up comedy there is deep relief in seeing an audience of assorted South Africans all howling with laughter at themselves being ripped off.’
      • ‘He has a wicked and withering sense of humour, and continues to perform stand-up comedy around the country.’
      • ‘Finally there are Comedy Central quickies featuring some more stand-up comedy by various performers.’
      • ‘A guy comes out and does a stand-up comedy routine at the start of the show about economics.’
      • ‘Mr Silberberg, 48, is also known to many Swindon people as both compère and performer at stand-up comedy evenings at various venues across the town.’
      • ‘His start came at the tender age of 18 when he began performing stand-up comedy on a dare from his University dorm mates.’
      • ‘In a stand-up culture where comedians are allowed to be outrageous up to the point of their first television contract, Hicks was a mite too edgy.’
      • ‘Deirdre has become on of Ireland's most recognised and acclaimed performers in stand-up comedy in recent years.’
  • 2attributive (of a fight or argument) involving direct confrontation.

    ‘she had a stand-up row with her husband’
    • ‘Years ago, after a stand-up row with a queue-jumping Bulgarian peasant in a post office in Bulgaria, I realised that queues are not important in many other countries.’
    • ‘‘It was totally nerve-wracking,’ says Kuster of the stand-up showdown.’
    • ‘Eventually, Cat, a civil engineer with Cork County Council, turned on Dean and the debate turned into a stand-up row before the two stormed off.’
    • ‘Some anglers also use a harness, but this is rarely necessary for average fit anglers and a stand-up fight is typical and most rewarding.’
    • ‘Depending on which weapons and powerups you use, you can choose to fight run and gun, snipe from a distance or have a plain stand-up fight behind cover.’
    • ‘This week's action has involved Thomas Mesereau and the accuser's mother having stand-up cat fights in the courtroom.’
    • ‘There were stand-up rows, stormy walk-outs and tearful tantrums about faded careers.’
    • ‘I can hardly think of an occasion when I've got into a stand-up fight with any political opponent.’
    • ‘He had a stand-up row with Laura Nyro during a demo taping as he insisted that she should stick to cover versions and other people's songs.’
    • ‘I had expected a stand-up row followed by an avalanche of tears and I could not tell if what had transpired was better or worse than I had imagined.’
    • ‘Once upon a time, I'd have a stand-up argument with someone like this, right there and then in the shop.’
    • ‘And our governments are afraid of them - no nation-state is going to take on the US in a stand-up fight.’
    • ‘A stand-up row with the then England captain Mike Brearley followed, with Lillee arguing that the rulebook didn't state that a bat must be made of willow.’
    • ‘That was apparently the second incident in one day - he'd had a stand-up row with one of the journalists at the launch that morning.’
    • ‘‘Louise and I used to have stand-up fights about who was going to be Vanessa,’ laughs Maureen.’
    • ‘The gargantuan scale of corruption might never have become public had Welch, a Mormon bishop, not had a stand-up public row with his wife over presents he had bought for his mistress.’
    • ‘As good as those matches were, they will never replace really good, stand-up fights.’
    • ‘She insisted that only 7 be allowed into the house and they had a stand-up row on the side of the road as she refused him permission to move extra beds into the house.’
    • ‘Far from the stand-up rows and slanging matches of previous months, councillors kept their voices low, and largely, their comments to themselves.’
    • ‘Cabin crew were involved in a stand-up argument with the man in front of dozens of Irish holiday-makers.’
    1. 2.1US informal Courageous and loyal in a combative way.
      ‘a first-class, stand-up kind of guy’
      predicative ‘I was strong, I was stand-up, I could take anything’
      • ‘We may disagree on political issues, but there are stand-up people in the United States Senate and in the House of Representatives.’
      • ‘And I thought that was a stand-up thing to do, and I thought maybe this is a step toward removing this.’
      • ‘You're a stand-up guy for wanting to do something about this - good luck!’
      • ‘He was forthcoming about nagging injuries and the change in leagues holding him back a bit - a very stand-up guy.’
      • ‘Leo's a stand-up guy; he didn't rat out his best friend, Willie, on his way down.’
      • ‘He'd known Sonny since freshman year of high school, a real stand-up guy.’
      • ‘Is Jim Boyd a stand-up guy who is willing to debate this important issue fairly, and on the merits?’
      • ‘Krugman's analysis had entirely to do with show, with symbols, with heroes and villains, stand-up guys and wimps.’
      • ‘I'd be remiss not to mention two of my dear friends, Robbie Ellis and Chris Hero, who are both stellar, stand-up guys.’
      • ‘Fassel is a stand-up guy who was willing to go down with the ship even after being fired, and he will be rewarded for that attitude sometime soon.’
      • ‘Hence the rise of bottled beers imported from countries where beer drinkers are respected as stand-up citizens and where a flat pint of lager just would not be tolerated.’
      • ‘Len Garment has at least been a pretty stand-up guy about this.’
      • ‘I was, after all, a stand-up guy, just like he'd said.’
      • ‘But I've said it before: I think he's a stand-up guy in a world of flakes.’
      • ‘‘But before we rally around this stand-up guy from Britain, we should ask him a few questions of his own,’ he warned.’
      • ‘I also think it's appalling that Mark Felt, who is a stand-up guy, only gets twice as much as a woman who runs away from her own wedding.’
      • ‘He always has been that kind of stand-up guy, as well as polite to a fault.’
      • ‘And we'll also hear from Robert Klein, a stand-up guy who's also saved lives.’
      • ‘The Ken Lay I knew was a stand-up guy who did everything he could for his community and I lost money in Enron.’
      • ‘Tom Ridge must be a stand-up guy and an all-around great American.’
  • 3attributive Designed to stay upright or erect.

    ‘indigo blue shirts with stand-up collars’
    • ‘Beeps, clicks and scratches run underneath - and alongside - strings, stand-up bass and a variety of percussion.’
    • ‘The stand-up collar was similar to the Western-style, and the three hidden pockets of Western suits were changed into four outside pockets with flaps.’
    • ‘It's made from 100-percent quilted nylon and has a stand-up collar, so it's just the thing to keep you warm and dry.’
    • ‘The high-waisted coat, with a stand-up mandarin collar, was trimmed with white leather.’
    • ‘It can match silk blouses, topwear with stand-up collars or v-shaped collars, loose trousers, or skirts.’
    • ‘The jacket features a stand-up collar with tri-color design, an open bottom hem with Shockcord drawstring closure and cord lock holder.’
    • ‘I put on my black tank top and my black jacket with the buttons on the stand-up collar.’
    • ‘We also sell memorial plaques, stand-up crucifixes and silky white or purple quilts for pets to lie on.’
    • ‘Features a stand-up collar with locker loop inside back neck, dyed-to-match snap-front closures and slant waist pockets.’
    • ‘The most formal choice and the style most often worn with tuxedo jackets, this stand-up collar has downward points.’
    • ‘A stand-up collar needs help to prevent drooping.’
    • ‘There he was, in delicate profile, an angelic child wearing a big Mozart-style stand-up jacket collar and ruffled shirt.’
    • ‘All that was missing from his version of ‘In the Still of the Night’ was a leisure suit and a stand-up microphone.’
    • ‘I'm talking about the sort of satin capes with stand-up collars that Elvis wore in Vegas, or that wrestlers wear as they enter the ring.’


  • 1A comedian who performs by standing in front of an audience and telling jokes.

    • ‘Maybe it is Scotland's smoking ban - otherwise cruelly ignored as a source of material by a generation of unnecessarily clean-living stand-ups - but this year's shows also seem to be riven with bitter despair.’
    • ‘In the summer a BBC executive suggested Cannon & Ball take to the Edinburgh Festival fringe, the annual bearpit where scores of stand-ups compete for audiences and reviews.’
    • ‘The secret of his mainstream success may be that, unlike many stand-ups who call Glasgow home, there's nothing remotely abrasive or ‘committed’ about him.’
    • ‘The reason we're here is that Scarborough-based firm Vocational Services UK is setting up a course for wannabe stand-ups on how to be a comedian.’
    • ‘Dave Barry (no relation to the humor columnist of the same name) was one of the great stand-up comedians and also a terrific cartoon voice actor.’
    • ‘A comedian tells jokes, customers buy lots of drinks and, as the evening progresses, everyone finds the succession of stand-ups even funnier.’
    • ‘Jarlath Reagan, a stand-up with a growing reputation will be the main support to Neil Delamere.’
    • ‘So they went out and found her the best of the best, so that she could learn what acting was, because she was a stand-up.’
    • ‘It's so different from the comic stand-ups of today, very refreshing.’
    • ‘Bailey was one of the stand-ups who starred in Masterson's smash-hit 2003 Edinburgh production of Twelve Angry Men.’
    • ‘Jeremy is one of the UK's leading stand-up comedians, regularly performing to sell-out audiences around the country and abroad.’
    • ‘Sadowitz has always been one of my favourite stand-ups comedians ever since that night.’
    • ‘Most of the current stand-ups have come out of university or college or whatever, which wasn't the case years ago.’
    • ‘Eric Bogosian, Richard Belzer and Eddie Izzard are among the other stand-ups who contribute.’
    • ‘Supporting new acts has always been a big part of The Stand philosophy, and several of the Scottish stand-ups who have made names for themselves are products of its workshop programme.’
    • ‘‘Lynne and I decided to go on a search for new female stand-ups so we did a lot of research and spoke to female comedians like Jenny Éclair,’ says Tham.’
    • ‘‘In a regular stand-up show the comic is trying to tell people that he is remarkable,’ he says.’
    • ‘And you really do hear some good one-liners from the stand-ups.’
    • ‘To mark this year's inaugural Richard Pryor award for comedy, we asked a group of comics to put a question to the great stand-up.’
    • ‘He's doing it to give hope to budding stand-ups.’
    comic, funny man, funny woman, comedienne, comedy actor, comedy actress, humorist, gagster
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    1. 1.1mass noun Stand-up comedy.
      ‘he began doing stand-up when he was fifteen’
      • ‘Don't you fancy doing stand-up which is slightly more respectable?’
      • ‘Howard Spencer-Mosley enjoys taking the mick with his alternative York guided tours and anarchic stand-up.’
      • ‘It's a place where people appreciate good stand-up because they see so much of it.’
      • ‘So I tried stand-up, with the idea of joining the chosen few looking laconic and world-weary in the bars every night.’
      • ‘What do you get out of stand-up that you can't get anywhere else in your career?’
      • ‘‘I was doing stand-up at night, and auditioning for commercials in the day,’ he said.’
      • ‘Sketch comedy, improvisation, stand-up and much more will be performed in this intimate venue on Friday, September 24.’
      • ‘Yet he flips out of his dumb-assed character whenever he wants to deliver snippets of nicely observed, no-nonsense stand-up.’
      • ‘He began performing stand-up at open mics around New York City at the age of 15, and thanks to his ear for imitations, he quickly became a club favorite.’
      • ‘It was in high school that Foley discovered his interest in comedy when he began writing stand-up for a school project.’
      • ‘Well, I'm out doing some stand-up right now, actually, which is kind of my roots.’
      • ‘Republican civility is something conservative comics wrestle with, given it inhibits their use of the shock effects that modern stand-up relies on.’
      • ‘His brilliant and potent comedy, song and stand-up have established him as one of Ireland's leading performers.’
      • ‘Then we watched some Dave Chappelle stand-up, and somewhere in there the paramedic called me.’
      • ‘Their show is a mix of burlesque, cabaret and improvised stand-up.’
      • ‘Both shows use a combination of multi-media and stand-up.’
      • ‘There's a surreal one-liner about a suicidal subway train that's worthy of Woody Allen's best stand-up.’
      • ‘Comedy Stewart Lee Lee's extended riff on his Jerry Springer hounding and poor health is one of the most intelligent pieces of stand-up for years.’
      • ‘In the early '90s there was stand-up on every channel all the time.’
      • ‘But it wasn't just stand-up that he radicalised: many credit Pryor with blazing a trail for black people in American life.’
    2. 1.2 A brief monologue by a television news reporter.
      ‘Coleman left the media pack doing stand-ups on the roof’
      • ‘So it will be interesting to see if Oliver Stone dramatizes this event and has the reporter doing that mock stand-up so close, because we were not close.’
      • ‘When we are out, we try to get at least two interviews, find a personal angle, get B-roll and do a stand-up.’
      • ‘Reporter Brian Andrews has been doing just some incredible live reports, tapes, stand-ups for us, showing us how the storm has come through the area.’
      • ‘These days, off-air producers keep an eye on the Court for those two networks; legal affairs correspondents step in to do stand-ups on significant proceedings.’
      • ‘Reporters and camera crews from around the world doing their stand-ups, their updates, their breaking news reports on a story on which there has been little breaking news, at least since the 11th shooting on Monday.’
      • ‘There were times Fox's producers could have replaced lead announcer Mike Joy with a cardboard stand-up.’
      • ‘You used to do a little stand-up before going on to the news part of ‘Weekend Update.’’
      • ‘There was no Weather Channel, no Internet, no stand-ups by wind-whipped, rain-soaked TV reporters, and, of course, no evacuation plan.’
      • ‘So instead of fighting them, like Nixon did, they plied them with stand-ups, sound bites and managed news.’
      monologue, speech, address, lecture, oration, sermon, homily, aside
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  • 2A fight or argument involving direct confrontation.

    ‘we have had stand-ups, pitch invasions, and red cards’
    • ‘A million fights, arguments, tears, hang ups, stand ups, let downs, "get over it"s, and "i don't like you"s could make me hate you.’
    argument, row, fight, disagreement, difference of opinion, dissension, falling-out
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