Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that can always be relied on, as in an emergency.
  • n. A favorite or frequent choice.
  • n. One kept in readiness to serve as a substitute.
  • adj. Kept in reserve for use when needed: a standby generator.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or waiting for unreserved travel space that is made available by an airline only shortly before departure: standby passengers.
  • adv. On a standby basis: flew standby to New York.
  • idiom on standby Ready and waiting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. State of readiness without being immediately involved.
  • n. Waiting at the airport in the hope of getting a seat on a flight that is already booked out.
  • n. Something that is standard, well-tested, or frequently used.
  • v. Wait briefly: alternative spelling of stand by.

Etymologies

From stand + by. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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