hold at bay

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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
References in periodicals archive ?
On this 6,386-yard, par 71 course that holds so many happy memories - she was also fourth in '97 - she can dethrone champion Se Ri Pak and hold at bay the awesome Webb, already a five-time winner this year.
According to Washington Post, such an eventuality would threaten not only the entrenched rulers already battling to hold at bay a clamor for democratic change, but also the entire balance of power in the volatile region, analysts and experts said.