Definition of stand down in US English:

stand down

phrasal verb

  • 1Withdraw or resign from a position or office.

    ‘he stood down as leader of the party’
    • ‘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 outspoken Tory, a veteran of 40 years in Parliament, will stand down at the next general election.’
    • ‘He announced that he was standing down from the position as treasurer after 18 years.’
    • ‘His election victory means he automatically stands down from the European Parliament.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Last night he announced his intention to stand down as leader of the Labour party in Wales.’
    • ‘The parliamentary party has spoken and I will stand down as leader when a successor has been chosen.’
    • ‘He is standing down from his position due to ill health.’
    resign, retire, quit, stand down, step down, bow out, renounce the throne
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  • 2stand down" or "stand someone downRelax or cause to relax after a state of readiness.

    ‘if something doesn't happen soon, I guess they'll stand us down’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An ambulance crew was dispatched immediately, however they were stood down shortly after.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Endurance has been stood down from a rescue in the sea off Antarctica.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The number of men in the Home Guard did not fall below one million until they were stood down in December 1944.’
    • ‘After I was stood down no relief teachers were employed to take my place.’
    • ‘They have got to accept that the war is over and stand down their army once and for all.’
    • ‘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.’
    relax, stand easy, come off full alert
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  • 3(of a witness) leave the witness stand 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.’’