Definition of stand down in English:

stand down

phrasal verb

  • 1Withdraw or resign from a position or office.

    ‘he stood down as leader of the party’
    • ‘He announced that he was standing down from the position as treasurer after 18 years.’
    • ‘He is standing down from his position due to ill health.’
    • ‘Last night he announced his intention to stand down as leader of the Labour party in Wales.’
    • ‘The outspoken Tory, a veteran of 40 years in Parliament, will stand down at the next general election.’
    • ‘His election victory means he automatically stands down from the European Parliament.’
    • ‘The parliamentary party has spoken and I will stand down as leader when a successor has been chosen.’
    • ‘The decision to stand down as Leader of the House of Commons was not an easy one.’
    • ‘Some of the long-standing trustees are standing down either by retirement or resignation.’
    • ‘The present leaders are standing down after ten years.’
    • ‘The first-ever female principal of Northallerton College has announced that she is standing down from her position next summer after nearly seven years in the job.’
    resign, retire, quit, stand down, step down, bow out, renounce the throne
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  • 2Relax or cause to relax after a state of readiness.

    ‘if something doesn't happen soon, I reckon they'll stand us down’
    • ‘After I was stood down no relief teachers were employed to take my place.’
    • ‘Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Endurance has been stood down from a rescue in the sea off Antarctica.’
    • ‘There were a couple of minor clashes between pro and anti hunt protesters but all police units were later stood down.’
    • ‘By loading the ammunition but then standing down the firing squad, Lord Butler has left the Prime Minister still breathing, and the political landscape largely unchanged.’
    • ‘They have got to accept that the war is over and stand down their army once and for all.’
    • ‘An ambulance crew was dispatched immediately, however they were stood down shortly after.’
    • ‘If there is not a successful breakthrough, we're there at the Government's behest and if they decide to stand us down, then we will be stood down.’
    • ‘The number of men in the Home Guard did not fall below one million until they were stood down in December 1944.’
    • ‘The force's slow but inexorable decline dragged on until October 1944, when the government announced that the Home Guard would be stood down the following month.’
    • ‘The civil rights movement of the late 1960s demanded the unit be stood down, a demand which was conceded in 1970 under conditions of incipient civil war.’
    relax, stand easy, come off full alert
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  • 3(of a witness) leave the witness box after giving evidence.

    • ‘The applicant may stand down and go back to the Bar table.’
    • ‘What I propose to do is to have this witness stood down.’
    • ‘After a minute of silence the judge said, ‘Okay, the witness may stand down.’’