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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

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. These tree frogs have a powerful poison on their backs that helps keep predators 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 for blood

demand punishment or retribution.
See also: bay, blood

bring someone or something to bay

trap or corner a person or animal being hunted or chased.
This phrase was originally a medieval hunting term, referring to the position of the quarry when it is cornered by the baying hounds. An animal cornered in this way is said to stand at bay .
See also: bay, bring, something

hold (or keep) someone or something at bay

prevent someone or something from approaching or having an effect.
See also: bay, hold, something

bay at the moon

clamour or make an outcry to no effect.
The barking of dogs at a full moon has been a metaphor for futile activity since the mid 17th century.
See also: bay, moon

at ˈbay

when an animal that is being hunted is at bay, it must turn and face the dogs and hunters because it is impossible to escape from them
See also: bay

hold/keep somebody/something at ˈbay

prevent somebody/something from coming too close or attacking: Vitamin C helps to keep colds and flu at 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.