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1. To step down from and leave the witness stand in a courtroom. Thank you for your testimony and for answering my questions, Mrs. Wilson, you may stand down now.
2. Of police or military, to cease being prepared to engage in a violent conflict. Chief, tell those officers to stand down. I can resolve this issue peacefully. Forces on either side of the disputed territory are standing down after a peace treaty was signed this morning.
3. To resign from some job or position, especially one with high power or authority. Effective immediately, I'll be standing down as director of the company. The governor was forced to stand down after the scandal became public.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. to step down, particularly from the witness stand in a courtroom. The bailiff told the witness to stand down. Please stand down and take your seat.
2. [for military forces] to move away from readiness for war. After the peace treaty was signed, troops on both sides stood down.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Leave a witness stand, as in The judge told her to stand down. [Late 1600s]
2. Withdraw, as from a political contest or a game or race, as in Harry decided to stand down as a candidate for mayor. [Late 1800s]
3. Go off duty, as in The American forces were ordered to stand down. [Early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To withdraw or resign, as from a political contest: Because the candidate was behind in the polls, he decided to stand down.
2. To end a state of readiness or alert: The troops were ordered to stand down.
3. To leave a witness stand: The judge allowed the witness to stand down.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.