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stand·by / ˈstan(d)ˌbī/ • n. (pl. -bys) readiness for duty or immediate deployment: buses were placed on standby for the trip to Washington. ∎  the state of waiting to secure an unreserved place for a journey or performance, allocated on the basis of earliest availability: passengers were obliged to go on standby. ∎  a person waiting to secure such a place. ∎  a person or thing ready to be deployed immediately, esp. if needed as backup in an emergency: a generator was kept as a standby in case of power failure | [as adj.] a standby rescue vessel. ∎  an operational mode of an electrical appliance in which the power is switched on but the appliance is not actually functioning.

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