stand off

(redirected from stand them off)

stand off

1. To remain separate or at a distance (from someone or something else). I stood off from everyone else so I could observe what was happening. Because of the rocky shoreline, our boat had to stand off a good bit
2. To repel or stave off someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stand" and "off." Security personnel stood off the protestors as the controversial politician entered the building. I've been posted here to stand any intruders off during the night.
See also: off, stand

stand someone or something off

to repel the attack of someone or something; to defend against someone or something; to stave someone or something off. It was all we could do to stand them off. The soldiers stood off the attackers as long as they could.
See also: off, stand

stand off

some place [for a ship] to wait some distance from a point on shore. The ship stood off at some distance, waiting for its berth. We stood off about a mile from shore and went to land in small boats called tenders.
See also: off, stand

stand off

1. Stay at a distance, remain apart, as in Carol stood off from the others. [First half of 1600s] This usage gave rise to the adjective standoffish for "aloof" or "reserved in a haughty way."
2. Put off, keep away, as in The police stood off the angry strikers. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: off, stand

stand off

v.
1. To stay at a distance; remain apart: She stood off from the group. He stood off by himself.
2. To maintain a course away from shore. Used of a ship or other vessel: The ship stood off to sea.
3. Sports To move backward so that one is farther away from some opponent: The boxer stood off his opponent. The defender stood off the attacker, allowing her a shot on goal.
See also: off, stand