from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To stand by or near; stand around.
- v. To beset; stand around in hostility; harass.
- v. To surround; encompass.
- v. To serve; be of service to; be ready to serve or aid.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To serve; be of service to; be ready to serve or aid.
From Middle English bistanden, bestanden, from Old English bestandan ("to stand round or about, beset, surround, attend to, harass"), equivalent to be- + stand. Cognate with Dutch bestaan ("to exist, subsist, live"), German bestehen ("to exist, endure, be available"), Swedish bestå ("to consist, continue, endure, provide"). (Wiktionary)