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See also: stand off and stand-off


Alternative forms[edit]


From the verb phrase stand off.


  • IPA(key): /ˈstændɒf/
  • (file)


standoff (plural standoffs)

  1. A device which maintains a fixed distance between two objects, especially between a surface and a sign or electrical wiring.
  2. A deadlocked confrontation between antagonists.
    I don't want to get involved in the standoff between those two.
    A tense standoff between demonstrators and police continued overnight.
    • 2016 May 23, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, “Apocalypse pits the strengths of the X-Men series against the weaknesses”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      In recent months, both Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Captain America: Civil War have offered up big, flashy superhero standoffs as feuds of ideology and stubborn will.

Derived terms[edit]



standoff (not comparable)

  1. (military) For use at a distance sufficient from the target to allow defensive fire to be evaded.
    a standoff bomb, missile, or weapon



  1. Nonstandard spelling of stand off.

Usage notes[edit]

  • For many English verb-particle idioms, including stand off, the plain form is sometimes written solid (in this case, as standoff). However, this is not usually considered correct, and generally does not occur in the other verb forms (such as standing off).