On dictionary.cambridge.org the following two meanings are given for 'stand out':

1) to be very noticable

2) to be much better than other similar things or people

For the 2nd meaning, the example sentence is: "We had lots of good applicants for the job, but one stood out from the rest."

Does the meaning of this example sentence change if I would omit the last three words: from the rest?

I would like to use such a sentence in a cover / motivation e-mail for a job application. With this sentence, but the last three words omitted, I intend to say that the job description is more appealing (stands out) from all other job descriptions I read.

  • 3
    Omitting "from the rest", in your example, would not significantly change the meaning. In other cases, though, the clause may be needed to disambiguate, and it often adds a certain amount of emphasis even in a case like this.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 22:17
  • I would use it in the following manner: "The job opening for function XYZ at ABC stands out to me, as this job would give me the opportunity to ...". To me using 'from other jobs' or something similar, is a bit much (and the sentence would become very long).
    – Amonet
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 22:30
  • 1
    Note that often you see "stands out from his peers", and you might see, eg, "stands out from other EL&U contributors". "From" is often used here to specify how the distinction is being made.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 22:34
  • 1
    You can use "stand out" without context if you mean to say that something or somebody is noticable in many different contexts. For example a bright yellow Ferrari will be noticable in any street, on a highway, in a public car park or even arriving at the Oscars. You could say that the car "stands out" and give no context whatsoever.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Dec 1, 2018 at 6:42

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can use stand out without the preposition from:

If something stands out, it is much better or much more important than other things of the same kind.

  • He played the violin, and he stood out from all the other musicians. [Verb Particle + from]

  • Many people were involved in this conspiracy, but three stand out. [Verb Particle]

(Collins Dictionary)

  • Could you also tell if there is a rule to choose which is better in a particular situation? (I'll edit my post in case there is)\
    – Amonet
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 22:17
  • 1
    Note that "of the same kind" is a critical point. If the "same kind" is obvious then the "from" clause is unnecessary (though may be used for emphasis). But if the "same kind" is unclear (and that might be the case with our violinist) then the "from" clause is merited.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 22:37
  • Thanks for emphasising on the 'of the same kind', I would have read over it otherwise.
    – Amonet
    Commented Dec 1, 2018 at 15:51

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