Meaning of stand-off in English:


Pronunciation /ˈstandɒf/

See synonyms for stand-off


  • 1A deadlock between two equally matched opponents in a dispute or conflict.

    ‘the 16-day-old stand-off was no closer to being resolved’
    • ‘It used to be political and military stand-offs over big issues that caused crises in Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘His young administration faces fierce and conflicting political pressures on how he handles the stand-off.’
    • ‘The Cold War nuclear stand-off did much to sharpen Kubrick's awareness of global politics.’
    • ‘Unions and managers are now referring to the stand-off as ‘class war in the classroom’.’
    • ‘The protesters are in a stand-off with a private security firm employed by the council to patrol the building.’
    • ‘The hostage said there wasn't much shooting heard toward the end of the stand-off because a deal had been reached.’
    • ‘It reflects one of the most perilous stand-offs in the region.’
    • ‘And as a result, he doesn't squander the talents of his cast, throwing in plenty of personality clashes and in-house stand-offs that serve to heighten the precarious nature of Roenick's predicament.’
    • ‘In the next year, there will be a pre-emptive war, a nuclear stand-off or even a nuclear exchange in the most volatile region of the world.’
    • ‘Even if the peace process eventually delivers a stable political structure and the end of sectarian stand-offs, the North will struggle to sell itself effectively to foreign investors.’
    • ‘Changes to the running of the network have caused a stand-off between Essex County Council and Colchester Council.’
    • ‘It is a classic stand-off between public interest and private passion.’
    • ‘After an uneasy stand-off there was a brief but explosive confrontation.’
    • ‘Major events in recent years include the 1982 Constitution, Meech Lake, the Delgamuu'kw decision, and the military stand-offs at Oka and Gustafson Lake.’
    • ‘I get depressed and frustrated when debates get bogged down in predictable rigid left-right ritual stand-offs (which seems to happen more often than not).’
    • ‘Every two months I have come to Parliament House Canberra and met with the political architects of this policy, thinking there must be a better way than rhetorical stand-offs in the media.’
    • ‘Finally, in comparative perspective, I think there is good reason to believe that such stand-offs can be resolved through negotiation.’
    • ‘The stand-offs developed between police and demonstrators angered at the handling of a week of violence since an Orange Order parade was re-routed.’
    • ‘As always in most of these stand-offs, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.’
    • ‘Mrs Monaghan said she feared reprisals for her visit to London but said something needed to be done to end the stand-off.’
    deadlock, stalemate, impasse, standstill, dead end, draw, tie, dead heat
    View synonyms
  • 2Rugby

    short for stand-off half

    ‘Storm, lacking their first-choice stand-off, scrum-half and hooker, struggled to fire.’
    • ‘Whether he plays at stand-off or loose forward does not really matter.’
    • ‘We've a great stand-off in Danny McGuire and a great full back in Richie Mathers.’
    • ‘Both started this keenly-anticipated derby, Ryan at stand-off and Alex at loose forward.’
    • ‘Pratt can play in a number of positions - wing, stand-off, hooker or even loose forward.’
    • ‘The club boast a potent partnership in stand-off Murray Stewart and scrum-half Scott Gilliland.’
    • ‘I would say Hodgson is actually playing the best rugby of the four stand-offs on the tour at the moment.’
    • ‘Teenage stand-off James Young converted from the touchline then added a penalty as Albion took control.’
    • ‘Murphy is also worried that the British game lacks quality stand-offs.’
    • ‘Saints' star Paul Sculthorpe is likely to be pressed into service as an emergency stand-off in next Sunday's First Test.’
    • ‘Adam Mitchell added the conversion to an earlier penalty and the young stand-off finished with seven goals from seven attempts.’
    • ‘Veteran stand-off Tommy Martyn made a sparkling return from a broken arm, scoring their 10th try in injury time.’
    • ‘Using Richard Welding as a foil on the outside, the stand-off then added a try himself as he slipped through the Fylde defence on the inside.’
    • ‘Aussie stand-off Matthew Johns meanwhile is a target for Cronulla Sharks next term and could be released from his contract.’
    • ‘Back came Emley, with some fine attacking play, opening a gap for their agile stand-off Dave Pawson to score a converted try.’
    • ‘Adam, who made his debut at stand-off in the match, is Ben's younger brother, and so the latter had to declare an interest in the match.’
    • ‘He was closely followed for the man of the match award by stand-off Mark Sanderson, who ran well with ball in hand and tackled tirelessly.’
    • ‘Gala clawed back three points almost immediately with the only penalty goal of the match thanks to stand-off Andy McLean.’
    • ‘Sievwright, in particular, had a fine match at stand-off and was at the heart of much of Boroughmuir's best work.’
    • ‘Firstly, former Knights trialist Jermaine Coleman - who won the battle of the stand-offs with Thaler - gave a sharp pass to see Craig Firth cross, and then Damian Reed got the ball out for Barnett to turn on the boosters.’