stay behind

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stay behind (plural stay behinds)

  1. Alternative form of stay-behind
    • 1861, John Hart Dunne, From Calcutta to Pekin, page 95,
      Pleasant prospect for us, who are sure to be amongst the unlucky stay behinds!
    • 1992, David Drake, Bill Fawcett, Battlestation, page 134,
      [] Think there may be some bugs left. Deserters, stay behinds, whatever.”
    • 2004 September, Scott Berinato, Chandra Tallman, The Art of Securing Pricelessness, CSO, page 43,
      That creates very few “dead spots” for potential thieves to avoid sensors and helps deter “stay behinds”: skulkers who come into the room with a group but remain when others leave.


stay behind (third-person singular simple present stays behind, present participle staying behind, simple past and past participle stayed behind)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see stay,‎ behind.
    • 1993, John Forester, Effective Cycling, 6 edition, page 393:
      If you can, sprint ahead and stay ahead — otherwise slow down and stay well behind
    • 1995, Rudolf Steiner, Helen Fox (original translator), revising translator not named, Lecture 7, The Kingdom of Childhood, Revised Translation, page 120,
      Children who are in any way below standard come into this class from all the other classes.
      Otherwise, as I have said, we do not let the children stay behind but we try to bring them along with us under all circumstances, so that in this way each child really receives what is right for his or her particular age.
    • 1997, Helen Horne, Sally A. Brown, 500 Tips for School Improvement, page 74,
      Teamwork is important throughout any school organisation. When people work in isolation, they tend to stay behind a closed door, locked in with their pupils.
  2. (idiomatic) To remain where one is, whilst others leave.
    • 2005, Al Kelly, Challenging Modern Physics: Questioning Einstein's Relativity Theories, page 24,
      If a twin goes off on a spaceship for a long trip at nearly the speed of light, that twin would be much younger on return to earth than the twin who stayed behind (Fock, 1964; French, 1968; Hawking, 1988; Young, 1992).
    • 2007, David W. P. Elliott, The Vietnamese War: Revolution and Social Change in the Mekong Delta, 1930-1975, page 91,
      Much as Tra wanted to stay behind, as commander of the region, it was his duty to organize and lead the troops going to the North.
    • 2009, A. Dirk Moses, Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History, page 114,
      Ross's fortunes differed sharply from those of the principal Choctaw chief, Greenwood LeFlore, who, unlike Ross, signed a removal treaty on behalf of his people, only to stay behind himself, accept US citizenship, and go on to a distinguished career in Mississippi politics.
  3. To remain in a classroom or school at the end of teaching, especially to receive punishment.
    • 1964, Paul Keres, Alexander Kotov, Harry Golombek (translator), The Art of the Middle Game, 1989, Dover, page 32,
      When I stayed behind at school with my school friends after lessons, and managed to play up to a hundred games in a single afternoon, the strategy was simple enough: I castled on the opposite side in the middle of violent (and mutual) King attacks.
    • 1996, Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion, Keith Morrison, A Guide to Teaching Practice, page 51,
      Observe what sanctions the teacher employs with her class in order to enforce the rules. Are individuals kept in after school, for instance, or are they asked to stay behind at the end of a lesson, or reprimanded in front of the other children?
    • 2004, Rebecca Mahon, Excel HSC English Study Guide: Billy Elliot, page 110,
      One day I had to stay behind after my boxing class, and I'd just been told that I was a ‘disgrace to the traditions of the boxing hall’.



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