from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To play one's hand without drawing any more cards.
- v. To resist changes.
- v. To stop hitting.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. refuse to abandon one's opinion or belief
Probably originally a poker phrase, with "pat" equaling "optimal", meaning that drawing more cards is unnecessary. Later the phrase came to be employed in other spheres. "Stand pat" was actively used in U.S. political campaigns of the 1900s, quickly gaining a sense of "being reactionary, resistant to dramatic changes in policy". Moreover, a noun "standpatter\stand-patter" was coined to denote such politicians. (Wiktionary)