Meaning of standby

stand•by

Pronunciation: (stand'bī"), [key]
— n., pl. adj. -bys,
—n.
  1. a staunch supporter or adherent; one who can be relied upon.
  2. something upon which one can rely and therefore choose or use regularly.
  3. something or someone held ready to serve as a substitute, esp. a radio or television program used as a filler in case of cancellation of a regularly scheduled program.
  4. a traveler who is waiting for last-minute accommodations to become available on a plane, train, or other transport as a result of a cancellation.
  5. in a state of readiness to act, respond, or be used immediately when needed.
—adj.
  1. kept readily available for use in an emergency, shortage, or the like: a standby player.
  2. of or pertaining to last-minute accommodations, the transport that offers them, or a traveler who is waiting for them: a standby flight.
  3. of or pertaining to a waiting period.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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