bay

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Related to bays: Bayes, Headlands and bays

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

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

keep somebody at bay

also hold somebody at bay
to prevent someone from moving closer He held the police at bay with a gun for several hours.
See also: bay, keep

keep something at bay

also hold something at bay
to control something and prevent it from causing you problems She fought to keep her unhappiness at bay. In the garden, there's no security system to keep the rabbits at bay. Experts hope the economy will slow enough to keep inflation at bay.
See also: bay, keep

be baying for blood

  (British)
if a group of people are baying for blood, they want someone to be hurt or punished Families of the victims were baying for blood during the trial.
See also: bay, blood

keep something/somebody at bay

to prevent something or someone unpleasant from coming too near you or harming you If we can keep the rabbits at bay, we should have a good crop of vegetables in the garden. For me, overeating is a way of keeping my feelings at bay.
See also: bay, keep

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

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 ?
The ship taken, we could not do otherwise than yield ourselves prisoners, and for the whole period that she remained in the bay, the Dolly, as well as her crew, were completely in the hands of the mermaids.
He is a gentleman, which is more than you are," she retorted, and, with a cut of her whip that narrowly missed her husband's shoulder, sent the bay plunging through the gap.
descended upon Marvis Bay early next afternoon, and George, meeting them at the station, in reluctant pursuance of a promise given to Arthur Mifflin, felt moodily that, if only they could make their acting one-half as full of colour as their clothes, the play would be one of the most pronounced successes of modern times.
Daylight was delighted; the purchase was immediately made; and Bob, with riding gear and personal equipment, was despatched across the bay forthwith to take up his quarters in the stables of the Oakland Riding Academy.
In that moment he abandoned the idea of the valley and the bay, the grass-walled castle and the trim, white schooner.
While waiting for slack water, in which to lift their heavy nets from the bed of the bay, the Chinese had all gone to sleep below.
In addition to the sails they had gotten out long sweeps, and the bay was being ploughed in every direction by the fleeing junks.
To-morrow I would be an oyster pirate, as free a freebooter as the century and the waters of San Francisco Bay would permit.
Up the bay and into the River Tamar we motored through a solitude as unbroken as that which rested upon the waters of the Channel.
What was there here in Plymouth Bay to prevent an enemy landing in force and marching where they wished?
A pretty notion truly," replied the papers in the interest of Florida, "that of Galveston bay
I came to the bay at last, more dead than alive; and at the first glance, I thought the yard was something farther out than when I left it.
From the deck of our schooner, anchored in the middle of the bay, he indicated by a theatrical sweep of his arm along the jagged outline of the hills the whole of his domain; and the ample movement seemed to drive back its limits, augmenting it suddenly into something so immense and vague that for a moment it appeared to be bounded only by the sky.
I told him I was on the Maryland side of the bay, at the plantation of a particular friend who came from England in the same ship with me; that as for that side of the bay where he was, I had no habitation.
This river lies on the north side of the great bay or gulf which goes up to Siam.