STANDStand is one of the top 500 most frequent words in English. The past tense form is stood and the past participle is also stood. As you read, think about how the different meanings of the word are related.
As a verb
Note that we usually use it in the negative with the word 'can't'. Can't stand simply means dislike.
Example: I can't stand people who tell lies.
However, we do sometimes use it in the positive:
Example: I'm from a cold country, so I can stand low temperatures.
Example: George is standing for Mayor.
As a noun
As a noun, the word stand has several meanings.
1 A piece of equipment that supports an object
Put the microphone in the stand.
I bought a stand for my iPad, so I can use it while cooking.
2 The second meaning is 'position'. Not a physical position, but a position or viewpoint in relation to supporting an idea.
For example, if we ask 'What is your stand on abortion?', we are asking whether you support it or whether you are against it?
Notice how this relates to the first meaning - both meanings talk about supporting something.
There is another way to use stand as a noun, but with an -ing ending. The word 'standing' can mean status. This usage is not so common.
He has a good reputation and good standing in the local community.
Phrasal verbs and similar expressions with STAND
Let's look at seven different phrasal verbs using the word STAND.
1 Stand up for (something or someone)
To stand up for something means to defend or show support for it. We often use it to describe activists or political activities.
I stood up for Roger, even when everyone thought he was a liar.
This politician is the only one who will stand up for the rights of indigenous people.
2 Stand out
When something (or someone) is clearly very different from the others, we say that it stands out. Sometimes, we say 'stand out from the crowd' to describe someone who is different from and better than others.
Wearing a bright pink t-shirt, Laura really stood out at the funeral.
A well-written resume will help you stand out from the crowd when you apply for a job.
3 Stand for
We use the expression 'stand for' to explain an acronym or abbreviation.
CIA stands for Central Intelligence Agency.
'Etc' stands for the Latin phrase et cetera.
4 Stand by (or with) someone/something
Similar to the first phrasal verb, when we stand by a person, we continue to support them through difficult times.
Her husband stood by her through the difficult times.
I know many people don't like our boss, but I will continue to stand by her.
5 Stand in
To stand in is the act as a temporary substitute
The vice president has to be prepared to stand in for the president in case of an emergency.
6 Stand back
To stand back is to keep a distance from something
Stand back! The helicopter is going to take off.
The police officers told the crowd to stand back while they investigated the murder.
7 Stand down
To stand down is to resign from a formal position
I was the school principal until I stood down last week.
Idioms and expressions with STAND
STAND is used in a few idioms or iiom-like expressions
1 Make a stand/take a stand
These expressions refer to our second definition of STAND as a noun - a position or viewpoint.
When you make a stand or take a stand, you express your position about a (controversial) topic.
Example: People kept asking the politician to take a stand on the abortion issue, but he refused. Perhaps he was scared of losing votes.
2 Stand still/standstill
To stand still is to not move (while standing).
As a noun, standstill describes a situation where something has stopped.
For example: The traffic had come to a standstill.
3 As it stands
'As it stands,...' describes a current situation, while thinking about how that situation might change in the future.
As it stands, United are third in the league, but if they win at the weekend, they'll move up to second.
As it stands, convicted criminals are allowed to own guns, but the Government plans to change that with a new law.