bay

(redirected from baying)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.

flourish like a green bay tree

To thrive; to grow very successfully. The green bay tree is known to grow several new branches every year. Wow, you have just been flourishing like a green bay tree ever since you changed majors.
See also: bay, flourish, green, like, tree

at bay

At a safe distance; held back by some action. That preventative course of antibiotics really kept the illness at bay—I was hardly sick at all! We have a security system to keep burglars at bay.
See also: bay

bay at

To howl at. A: "What's that noise?" B: "Just some coyotes baying at the moon."
See also: bay

bay for blood

To seek punishment for a person or group. My co-workers have been baying for blood ever since they found out that I lied about my credentials on my resume.
See also: bay, blood

be baying for blood

To be seeking punishment for a person or group. My co-workers have been baying for blood ever since they found out that I lied about my credentials on my resume.
See also: bay, blood

keep (someone or something) at bay

To keep something at a distance from oneself, especially that which is harmful or unpleasant; to control something in order to keep it from doing harm to oneself. During my college years, the only things I had to keep hunger at bay were beans, rice, and plain pasta. You have to start meeting your minimum monthly repayments if you want to keep your creditors at bay.
See also: bay, keep

*at bay

Fig. at a distance. (*Typically: be ~; keep someone or something ~; remain ~.) I have to keep the bill collectors at bay until I get my paycheck. The mosquitoes will not remain at bay for very long.
See also: bay

bay at something

to howl at something. (Usually said of a dog, wolf, or coyote.) The dogs were baying at the moon. We heard a coyote in the distance, baying at the moon.
See also: bay

hold someone or something at bay

Fig. to make someone, a group, or an animal stay at a safe distance. (Originally referred only to animals.) I held the attacker at bay while Mary got away and called the police. The dogs held the bear at bay while I got my gun loaded.
See also: bay, hold

at bay

Cornered, in distress, as in Angry bystanders chased the thief into an alley and held him at bay until the police arrived . This idiom originally came from hunting, where it describes an animal that has been driven back and now faces pursuing hounds. Its use for other situations dates from the late 1500s.
See also: bay

keep something/someone at bay

or

hold something/someone at bay

COMMON If you keep something or someone at bay or hold them at bay, you stop them from attacking you or harming you. By salting the meat, bacteria were kept at bay, preserving the meat for future use. Tooth decay can be held at bay by fluoride toothpaste and good dentistry. A dozen American soldiers held the crowd at bay until the helicopter lifted off. Note: When a hunted animal is at bay, it is trapped by the hounds (= hunting dogs) and forced to turn and face them to defend itself. However, if the animal is successfully defending itself in this position, you can say that it is holding the hounds at bay. This second use seems the most likely origin of the expression.
See also: bay, keep, something

be baying for someone's blood

or

be baying for blood

BRITISH
If people are baying for someone's blood or baying for blood, they want someone to be punished or hurt. Eight thousand supporters were baying for the manager's blood after a 5-0 loss to Grimsby. The travel company had just buried itself with debts of more than £12m and thousands of disappointed holidaymakers were baying for blood. Note: This expression compares the people's demands to the sounds that dogs make on a hunt.
See also: bay, blood

bay at the moon

or

howl at the moon

LITERARY
If you bay at the moon or howl at the moon, you waste your time and energy trying to do something which is impossible or trying to get something which you cannot have. You're looking for the perfect man and he doesn't exist. You're baying at the moon.
See also: bay, moon

bay window

n. a belly; an abdomen. You are going to have to do something about that bay window.
See also: bay, window

at bay

To keep someone or something at a safe distance. The phrase derives from stag hunting, from a French word that also is the source of the English word for the baying howl that hounds make during a chance. A tired and cornered stag that turns to face the pursuing hounds is, for the moment, at a safe distance from its attackers.
See also: bay
References in classic literature ?
Late in the evening I heard the distant rumbling of wagons over bridges -- a sound heard farther than almost any other at night -- the baying of dogs, and sometimes again the lowing of some disconsolate cow in a distant barn-yard.
You old flea-headed woodchuck-chaser," I said to him--"you moon- baying, rabbit-pointing, eggstealing old beagle, can't you see that I don't want to leave you?
The light came and went on his lean, straining face; he threw his head up like a baying hound.