Definition of standby in English:

standby

noun

mass noun
  • 1Readiness for duty or immediate deployment.

    ‘buses were placed on standby for the journey to London’
    • ‘A Special Reaction Team is on standby 24 hours a day.’
    • ‘Gritters and snow ploughs are on standby as temperatures look set to plummet to - 8C across Hampshire next week.’
    • ‘Likewise, the Reserve forces will be revamped to have 2,800 troops in small units on standby for swift deployment.’
    • ‘He said: ‘There was a lifeboat on standby for safety for the crews because they were working above the water.’’
    • ‘A waiter was already there on standby in case we needed something.’
    • ‘Firefighters were called to the scene and placed on standby but were not needed.’
    • ‘One platoon is always on standby for immediate deployment to crisis spots.’
    • ‘The police helicopter unit was placed on standby.’
    • ‘Voters will go to the polls today with 95,000 police on the streets and 100,000 troops on standby for immediate deployment.’
    • ‘They had told me to be on standby and not to book a holiday.’
    • ‘By spotting the danger signs early enough, a civil defence team can be put on standby to provide an immediate response to another flood.’
    • ‘The property and the adjacent house were cordoned off and an ambulance was put on standby near the scene.’
    • ‘The 16 volunteers - handpicked for their varied skills and expertise - were on standby until the middle of last month.’
    • ‘The rescue service remains on permanent standby and is ready to mobilise to any site worldwide within 12 hours.’
    • ‘The lifeboat crew are on standby all the year round.’
    • ‘The image consultants have been on 24-hour emergency standby.’
    • ‘Gritters were placed on standby ready to treat motorways and other main roads in an effort to prevent accidents.’
    • ‘As part of the government's rapid reaction force, 45 Commando are on permanent standby for deployment to anywhere in the world at very short notice.’
    • ‘The air ambulance is one of only three helicopters in the country that covers night flying and is on standby for 19 hours a day, from 8am until 3am, 365 days a year.’
    • ‘The force helicopter will also be on standby to respond to robberies and protect security staff.’
    1. 1.1count noun A person or thing ready to be deployed immediately, especially if needed as backup in an emergency.
      ‘a generator was kept as a standby in case of power failure’
      as modifier ‘a standby rescue vessel’
      • ‘Although you can buy a commercial version of Jenny's ginger, shallot and chilli sauce, she says it is easy to make and is a wonderful standby to have in the fridge.’
      • ‘And atop the van were five bicycles, kept as a standby in case of the breakdown of any cycle during the course of the rally.’
      • ‘It was also reported last week that hospital bosses knew the standby air conditioning unit had been faulty for five years, but did not have the money to repair it.’
      • ‘In most cases, the second server is a standby server - ready to take over if the first server fails.’
      • ‘Stored rainwater also is a good standby in times of emergencies such as power outages or during periods of extreme drought when wells dry up.’
      • ‘Third, escape routes should be fitted with standby power and smoke - protection devices, and proper evacuation procedures should be planned.’
      • ‘Producers can fall into the same reasoning, so standbys and understudies rarely get the job when a star needs to be replaced long-term.’
      • ‘There are nearly 100 people on night shift as standby in case of emergencies.’
      • ‘Only twelve players are selected along with three reserves and three standbys.’
      • ‘Thank goodness it was only ever a standby facility, and that today it lies rotting and abandoned.’
      • ‘Permanent standby generators with automatic operation generally cost between $2,200 and $10,000.’
      • ‘Is the carbon dioxide produced by all those standby power stations accounted for in their statistics?’
      • ‘A standby crew of 15 fully trained nurses work lull time at The Pas Hospital and are on call 24 hours.’
      • ‘Hospitals must have standby power, because building codes and accreditation organizations require it.’
      • ‘In all football championship matches the referee must have his own umpires and official linesmen and a standby referee are also appointed.’
      • ‘Athens Olympics organisers took the extraordinary step early yesterday of training a standby athlete to light the Olympic flame.’
      • ‘To ensure emergency electricity supplies, standby generators are being provided for pumping and ventilation.’
      • ‘It was not surprising that a standby system was always in place.’
      • ‘Soup is a great standby, and we Scots are the best soup-makers of all.’
      • ‘BT are also investigating ways to exploit the stocks of fuel set aside to operate the exchange standby power generators.’
      • ‘They have a standby generator and five solar panels.’
      • ‘The tugboat is truly multi purpose, as it can lead oil tankers into port, repair petroleum pipes in the sea and act as a standby rescue boat.’
      alternative, substitute, replacement, spare, extra, standby, auxiliary, reserve, backup, fill-in, fallback, in reserve
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 An operational mode of an electrical appliance in which the power is switched on but the appliance is not actually functioning.
      ‘switch off the TV at night instead of leaving it on standby’
      • ‘A new chip promises to significantly reduce the power consumption of numerous consumer products and portable computing devices operating in standby mode.’
      • ‘The standby function on electrical appliances is responsible for an estimated six per cent of the UK's domestic electricity consumption.’
      • ‘One nuclear power station is needed to feed the millions of electrical appliances left in standby mode around the UK every day.’
      • ‘The most popular ways of saving energy are often the most simple, such as turning off lights, not leaving the TV on standby, and encouraging their parents to fit energy-saving lightbulbs.’
      • ‘Leakage current measurements are performed with the product energized and in all conditions, such as standby and full operation.’
      • ‘Batteries will usually last at least 100 hours on standby and give around two hours talktime, but batteries that last for up to 15 days on standby and give ten hours talktime are available.’
      • ‘There's an entirely sensible campaign now in the UK to encourage people to switch off appliances left on standby, saving both greenhouse gas emissions and money.’
      • ‘The rechargeable battery promises 200 minutes of talk time and 100 hours stand-by time.’
      • ‘Your TV and video can use as much electricity on standby as they do switched on, so unplug them at night.’
      • ‘Laser printers are energy hogs, both during active use and in standby mode.’
      • ‘Main standby offenders in Irish homes are TVs, video recorders, DVDs, video games, satellite decoders, stereo systems, PCs and microwave ovens.’
      • ‘Microsoft is hoping the devices will have a 100 to 120 hours standby time.’
      • ‘America's televisions draw enough standby power each year to light 5 million homes.’
      • ‘It serves as a timely reminder, though, that I am very bad at leaving appliances - computer, CD players - on, or TV on standby, overnight or when I'm out.’
      • ‘We're looking at some sort of device which could provide the energy for household goods instead of them running off the mains when they are on standby.’
      • ‘There can be a problem with televisions left on standby as the current has nowhere to go.’
      • ‘Electrical goods and appliances left on standby contribute to more than €30m in wasted energy state-wide so its best to turn them off when not in use.’
      • ‘Around £88m is wasted by leaving TVs on standby.’
      • ‘Normally you should only receive the message that the computer cannot go into standby mode if the camera is attached to the computer.’
      • ‘Having your appliances like TVs and computers on standby power uses 11% of all Australian residential electricity.’
    3. 1.3as modifier Denoting an economic or financial measure prepared for implementation in specified circumstances.
      ‘a standby credit facility’
      • ‘But it was so heavily in debt by 2001 that it couldn't post standby letters of credit against customers' deposits on the ovens they were buying.’
      • ‘It gave the country $1.4 billion in standby credit during the crisis.’
      • ‘The board took the decision after completing the fourth review of Bulgaria's economic performance under the standby agreement.’
      • ‘They refused the country a further $1.3bn in standby loans, unless it balanced its budget for the year 2002.’
      • ‘The Executive Board also approved the second review of Bulgaria's economic performance under the standby credit.’
      temporary, make-do, provisional, stopgap, standby, rough and ready, substitute, emergency, improvised, ad hoc, impromptu, extemporary, extempore, thrown together, cobbled together
      View synonyms
  • 2The state of waiting to secure an unreserved place for a journey or performance, allocated on the basis of earliest availability.

    ‘passengers were obliged to go on standby’
    • ‘But he could put me on standby for the last flight out.’
    • ‘The seats are typically offered on standby basis and but have become increasingly hard for employees to nail down as many flights fly at record-full levels.’
    • ‘It often involves being trapped on standby in the Atlanta airport on a rainy Friday night.’
    • ‘But cheap fares are filling the empty seats staffers used to use on standby.’
    • ‘The 74 passengers were put on standby for the next available flight.’
    • ‘Very frequent flyers get more free upgrades, often pay less to buy upgrades, and get preferred treatment on standby upgrade lists.’
    1. 2.1count noun A person waiting to secure an unreserved place for a journey or performance.
      ‘standbys are allowed to board when all the passengers with confirmed reservations are seated’
      • ‘I see a line at the counter - standbys waiting to take my seat no doubt.’
      • ‘So I camped out and waited for the standbys to get called.’
      • ‘It comes with the territory when you are a standby passenger that sometimes you just don't get on the plane.’
      • ‘New airport rules don't make this easy, but it turns out that if someone ahead of you on the standby list gets on the plane but decides against it, that's permitted.’
      • ‘I got on the flight even though there were a bunch of standbys milling around the ticket counter.’
      • ‘When they called the flight, to my relief I was one of the standbys who made it aboard.’
      • ‘The gate attendant announced that they were no longer accepting standbys, because they already had 50, and the flight was sold out.’
      substitute, replacement, reserve, representative, deputy, surrogate, lieutenant, second, second string, proxy, understudy, double, locum, supply, fill-in, cover, relief, stopgap
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

standby

/ˈstan(d)bʌɪ/