stave

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stave someone or something off

to hold someone or something off; to defend against the attack of someone or something. (See also stave something off.) The citizen was not able to stave the mugger off. The army staved off the attackers for three hours without letup.
See also: off, stave

stave something in

to crush something in. (The past tense is usually stove with ships, and otherwise, staved.) The rocks on the reef staved the hull of the ship in. The angry sailor staved in the cask of rum.
See also: stave

stave something off

to delay or postpone something unwanted, such as hunger, foreclosure, death, etc. (See also stave someone or something off.) He could stave his thirst off no longer. Despite the enemy sentries, he made a dash for the stream. The lost hiker could not stave off her hunger any longer.
See also: off, stave

stave off something

also stave something off
to keep something away or keep something from happening The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to boost the economy and stave off a recession. Death is natural and inevitable - we can't stave it off forever.
Related vocabulary: fend off something
See also: off, stave

stave off

Keep or hold away, repel, as in The Federal Reserve Board is determined to stave off inflation. This metaphoric expression transfers beating something off with a staff or stave to nonphysical repulsion. [c. 1600]
See also: off, stave

stave in

v.
To break or smash a hole in something: The firefighters staved the door in. I staved in the barrel with an axe.
See also: stave

stave off

v.
To keep or hold someone or something off; repel someone or something: I staved the attackers off with my umbrella. Health officials are trying to stave off an outbreak of disease.
See also: off, stave
References in periodicals archive ?
Pettee has staved off competition from promising junior B.
San Luis, wrapping up its first year in the division, barely staved off relegation to second-tier Primera Division A, then knocked off Atlante and Toluca to reach the final.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers staved off Barry Bonds' attempt at immortality again Sunday.
Taft, which beat the Patriots 25-0 earlier this season, staved off another Birmingham postseason comeback when Jamere Holland caught a 67-yard touchdown pass on third-and-17 with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter to put the Toreadors up 39-27.
He staved off one match point to pull within 5-4 in the final set but could not recover from a 40-0 deficit to start the 10th game.
Hart staved off elimination six consecutive times to win the Sectionals, and the success is continuing.
STOCKTON - Refusing to let second-round wrestling losses from the day before ruin their chances, Camarillo High's Ralph Garcia and San Fernando's Willy German both staved off elimination and won medals by finishing seventh in their weight classes Saturday at the CIF State Championships in front of about 6,000 at Spanos Center at University of the Pacific.