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Related to fight off: fight shy of
fight someone or something off
to repel an attack from someone or something. We fought the enemy attack off, but they returned almost immediately. She fought off the mosquitoes all evening. Jed fought the attacker off.
fight off somethingalso fight something off
1. to get rid of something, esp. an illness Her body couldn't fight the infection off.
2. to keep yourself from doing something you should not do I was trying to fight off the urge to sneak into the kitchen for something to eat.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of fight off (to use physical force against someone)
Defend against, drive back, as in I've been fighting off a cold all week. This figurative use of the term, originally meaning "to repel an enemy" dates from the early 1800s.
To defend against or drive back someone or something, such as a hostile force or an infection: The enemy is advancing, but the troops will fight them off. The doctor told me to rest so I can fight off this cold.