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’
      • ‘For example, Eddie Izzard's stand-up comedy performance film Dress To Kill includes a commentary track by him.’
      • ‘His start came at the tender age of 18 when he began performing stand-up comedy on a dare from his University dorm mates.’
      • ‘The first independent entrant, LCDR Simon Rooke, worked the crowd with his stand-up comedy routine, which proved very popular.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Finally there are Comedy Central quickies featuring some more stand-up comedy by various performers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A guy comes out and does a stand-up comedy routine at the start of the show about economics.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Featuring a variety of music, stand-up comedy, dance and illusion, Bollywood Nights aims to be a fun night out for the family.’
      • ‘Despite the discouraging situation, he was fuelled with material for his stand-up comedy routine.’
      • ‘Deirdre has become on of Ireland's most recognised and acclaimed performers in stand-up comedy in recent years.’
      • ‘It was the first time yours truly, Robert Cullen, stepped on to a stage to perform stand-up comedy.’
      • ‘A fellow blogger recommended me to do stand-up comedy when the ‘lame jokes’ trend is in again.’
      • ‘After my show last night, a woman approached me to ask me if I'd consider performing stand-up comedy at her wedding.’
      • ‘He has a wicked and withering sense of humour, and continues to perform stand-up comedy around the country.’
      • ‘The benefit will feature a variety of acts, from klezmer to jazz to stand-up comedy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
  • 2attributive (of a fight or argument) involving direct confrontation.

    ‘she had a stand-up row with her husband’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And our governments are afraid of them - no nation-state is going to take on the US in a stand-up fight.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I can hardly think of an occasion when I've got into a stand-up fight with any political opponent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As good as those matches were, they will never replace really good, stand-up fights.’
    • ‘‘Louise and I used to have stand-up fights about who was going to be Vanessa,’ laughs Maureen.’
    • ‘‘It was totally nerve-wracking,’ says Kuster of the stand-up showdown.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This week's action has involved Thomas Mesereau and the accuser's mother having stand-up cat fights in the courtroom.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Far from the stand-up rows and slanging matches of previous months, councillors kept their voices low, and largely, their comments to themselves.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cabin crew were involved in a stand-up argument with the man in front of dozens of Irish holiday-makers.’
    • ‘There were stand-up rows, stormy walk-outs and tearful tantrums about faded careers.’
    • ‘Once upon a time, I'd have a stand-up argument with someone like this, right there and then in the shop.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘He was forthcoming about nagging injuries and the change in leagues holding him back a bit - a very stand-up guy.’
      • ‘I was, after all, a stand-up guy, just like he'd said.’
      • ‘The Ken Lay I knew was a stand-up guy who did everything he could for his community and I lost money in Enron.’
      • ‘But I've said it before: I think he's a stand-up guy in a world of flakes.’
      • ‘He always has been that kind of stand-up guy, as well as polite to a fault.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘But before we rally around this stand-up guy from Britain, we should ask him a few questions of his own,’ he warned.’
      • ‘I'd be remiss not to mention two of my dear friends, Robbie Ellis and Chris Hero, who are both stellar, stand-up guys.’
      • ‘You're a stand-up guy for wanting to do something about this - good luck!’
      • ‘Leo's a stand-up guy; he didn't rat out his best friend, Willie, on his way down.’
      • ‘Is Jim Boyd a stand-up guy who is willing to debate this important issue fairly, and on the merits?’
      • ‘And we'll also hear from Robert Klein, a stand-up guy who's also saved lives.’
      • ‘Len Garment has at least been a pretty stand-up guy about this.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Tom Ridge must be a stand-up guy and an all-around great American.’
      • ‘Krugman's analysis had entirely to do with show, with symbols, with heroes and villains, stand-up guys and wimps.’
      • ‘He'd known Sonny since freshman year of high school, a real stand-up guy.’
      • ‘And I thought that was a stand-up thing to do, and I thought maybe this is a step toward removing this.’
  • 3attributive Designed to stay upright or erect.

    ‘indigo blue shirts with stand-up collars’
    • ‘The high-waisted coat, with a stand-up mandarin collar, was trimmed with white leather.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A stand-up collar needs help to prevent drooping.’
    • ‘The jacket features a stand-up collar with tri-color design, an open bottom hem with Shockcord drawstring closure and cord lock holder.’
    • ‘The most formal choice and the style most often worn with tuxedo jackets, this stand-up collar has downward points.’
    • ‘It can match silk blouses, topwear with stand-up collars or v-shaped collars, loose trousers, or skirts.’
    • ‘I put on my black tank top and my black jacket with the buttons on the stand-up collar.’
    • ‘All that was missing from his version of ‘In the Still of the Night’ was a leisure suit and a stand-up microphone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We also sell memorial plaques, stand-up crucifixes and silky white or purple quilts for pets to lie on.’
    • ‘There he was, in delicate profile, an angelic child wearing a big Mozart-style stand-up jacket collar and ruffled shirt.’
    • ‘Beeps, clicks and scratches run underneath - and alongside - strings, stand-up bass and a variety of percussion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Features a stand-up collar with locker loop inside back neck, dyed-to-match snap-front closures and slant waist pockets.’


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

    • ‘Eric Bogosian, Richard Belzer and Eddie Izzard are among the other stand-ups who contribute.’
    • ‘He's doing it to give hope to budding stand-ups.’
    • ‘Bailey was one of the stand-ups who starred in Masterson's smash-hit 2003 Edinburgh production of Twelve Angry Men.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘In a regular stand-up show the comic is trying to tell people that he is remarkable,’ he says.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And you really do hear some good one-liners from the stand-ups.’
    • ‘It's so different from the comic stand-ups of today, very refreshing.’
    • ‘Jeremy is one of the UK's leading stand-up comedians, regularly performing to sell-out audiences around the country and abroad.’
    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?’
      • ‘In the early '90s there was stand-up on every channel all the time.’
      • ‘‘I was doing stand-up at night, and auditioning for commercials in the day,’ he said.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What do you get out of stand-up that you can't get anywhere else in your career?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then we watched some Dave Chappelle stand-up, and somewhere in there the paramedic called me.’
      • ‘Howard Spencer-Mosley enjoys taking the mick with his alternative York guided tours and anarchic stand-up.’
      • ‘Republican civility is something conservative comics wrestle with, given it inhibits their use of the shock effects that modern stand-up relies on.’
      • ‘Well, I'm out doing some stand-up right now, actually, which is kind of my roots.’
      • ‘There's a surreal one-liner about a suicidal subway train that's worthy of Woody Allen's best stand-up.’
      • ‘It was in high school that Foley discovered his interest in comedy when he began writing stand-up for a school project.’
      • ‘But it wasn't just stand-up that he radicalised: many credit Pryor with blazing a trail for black people in American life.’
      • ‘Their show is a mix of burlesque, cabaret and improvised stand-up.’
      • ‘So I tried stand-up, with the idea of joining the chosen few looking laconic and world-weary in the bars every night.’
      • ‘Both shows use a combination of multi-media and stand-up.’
      • ‘His brilliant and potent comedy, song and stand-up have established him as one of Ireland's leading performers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's a place where people appreciate good stand-up because they see so much of it.’
    2. 1.2 A brief monologue by a television news reporter.
      ‘Coleman left the media pack doing stand-ups on the roof’
      • ‘You used to do a little stand-up before going on to the news part of ‘Weekend Update.’’
      • ‘When we are out, we try to get at least two interviews, find a personal angle, get B-roll and do a stand-up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So instead of fighting them, like Nixon did, they plied them with stand-ups, sound bites and managed news.’
      • ‘There were times Fox's producers could have replaced lead announcer Mike Joy with a cardboard stand-up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There was no Weather Channel, no Internet, no stand-ups by wind-whipped, rain-soaked TV reporters, and, of course, no evacuation plan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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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