at the ready—(of a weapon) in readiness for immediate use:
- He stalked along, one hand swinging free, the other with his machete held at the ready.
1. in a ready or prepared state:
- Stacks of “no parking” cones were dotted in readiness round the village.
2. ready or prepared to do smth.:
- The admiral gave orders for the troops to be in readiness to land.