hold (someone or something) at bay

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hold (or keep) someone or something at bay

prevent someone or something from approaching or having an effect.
See also: bay, hold, someone, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Paul and Jason Parajeckas of Pleasant Valley are in second place after the first day of the NEPGA Pro-Assistant Championship held at Bay Club in Mattapoisett.
Stars were held at Bay until 12.15, when Aaron Wright put them ahead when short-handed - and a minute later Lauri Mennala added a second.
The game always had another goal in it, with the Marton boys keeping up the pressure and defenders Donny Hughes, Adam Wright and goalkeeper Joe Shipp making sure the Redcar side were held at bay.
Altrincham dominated the second half, but were held at bay by a fine Northwich defence in which goalkeeper Scott Tynan was the star.
he Sandgrounders,already guaranteed Conference North football next season,had to be content with a point as they were held at bay by an Ashton side still in the battle for promotion.
He had entered the office naively believing that the world could be held at bay, or that he could subcontract international affairs to his foreign policy team while he himself dealt with domestic policy.
However, this approach inevitably opens a metonymic void-- an absolute outside--where all critical readings reside, held at bay with respect to the sense of transparency and immediacy these artists convey through image and materials.
Officers were held at bay for more than an hour when he refused to surrender.
This year, Michigan History Day will be held at Bay City Central High School on Saturday, April 29.
As long as the volatility remains manageable and speculative plays are held at bay, we should allow the adjustment to continue,' Guinigundo said in a text message to reporters.
We were held at bay by zealous security teams poised to intervene like nightclub bouncers if anyone without a correctly coloured wristband tried to get into the VIP suite.
2015 will hold both excitement and challenge for the commercial property investor with the forthcoming General Election, market movements and the debate, timing and pace of the long anticipated, but currently held at bay, rise in interest rates all having an impact.
After being held at bay during the opening 45 minutes at Aggborough, Harriers stepped up the pace and scored four second-half goals to condemn their opponents to relegation, but they saw their own hopes of winning the league title ended by Mansfield Town's 1-0 victory against the Dragons.
Get this job done and the play on and I'm going back.' The grey sea held at bay by the walls of the Antwerp docks bobbed with ice from the frozen rivers and canals.