stand in for

stand in for (someone or something)

To be or act as a substitute for someone or something; to do something in someone's or something's stead. It was decided that I would stand in for my sister at the head of the company while she took her sabbatical. Because of my diet I have this low-calorie spray standing in for olive oil while I cook, but it's just not the same. We stand in for the actors so the crew can light the set properly.
See also: stand
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

stand in for

Substitute for, as in He's kindly agreed to stand in for me at the reception. [Early 1900s]
See also: stand
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.

stand in for

v.
To act as a substitute for someone or something, especially for an actor while the lights and camera are adjusted: The understudy stood in for the lead performer.
See also: stand
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.
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