hold/keep somebody/something at bay

hold (someone or something) at bay

To keep someone or something at a distance or from reaching full potency, especially in order to prevent harm to oneself. These tree frogs have a powerful poison on their backs that helps hold predators at bay. You have to start meeting your minimum monthly repayments if you want to hold your creditors at bay. During my college years, the only things I had to hold hunger at bay were beans, rice, and plain pasta.
See also: bay, hold

keep (someone or something) at bay

To keep someone or something at a distance or from reaching full potency, especially in order to prevent 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

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.