keep at bay

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to keep at bay: hold at bay

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
com, with its vast library of interactive content, is positioned to dominate this growing market segment and keep at bay all competition.
Sadly, his rock-bottom self-esteem means she's totally oblivious to the raging passion Malc's struggling to keep at bay.
and he must hit top form immediately with the Blades to keep at bay 20-year-old Shay Given - the reserve keeper at Blackburn - who has won rave notices with a string of top-class displays for McCarthy.
4 twin cam K series engine, managed to keep at bay a fleet of more than 50 entrants, with the Citroen AX of John and Jill Cotton second.
It totally reflects my personal life and I knew it would be a great liberation in terms of the sick, wild side of myself that I always keep at bay, away from the press and public.
Her job is to feed its red squirrel population and keep at bay alien invaders from the animal and plant world.