keep (someone or something) at bay

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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
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.