hold off

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hold off

1. To prevent someone or something from advancing or approaching; to keep someone or something at bay. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "off." We can't hold off the police for much longer—they're going to find us!
2. To wait to take action. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "off." I know you want to start on that project, but hold off until I get these questions answered by the boss.
See also: hold, off

hold someone or something off

 
1. and keep someone or something off Lit. to do something physical to keep someone or something away; to stave someone or something off. Tom was trying to rob us, but we managed to hold him off. We held off the attackers. I couldn't keep off the reporters any longer.
2. Fig. to make someone or something wait. I know a lot of people are waiting to see me. Hold them off for a while longer. See what you can do to hold off the reporters.
See also: hold, off

hold off (on someone or something)

to delay doing something concerning someone or something. Please hold off on Tom until we interview the other candidates. I will hold off on this job for a while.
See also: hold, off

hold off

1. Keep at a distance, resist, delay, as in This payment should hold off the creditors. [Early 1400]
2. Stop or delay from action, as in Let's hold off until we know more. [c. 1600]
See also: hold, off

hold off

v.
1. To keep someone or something at a distance; resist someone or something: The firm's attorney held the creditors off. We held off the reporters as long as we could.
2. To stop or delay doing something: Let's hold off until we have more data. I held off buying a house until I had a down payment.
See also: hold, off
References in classic literature ?
If you find him dangerous--really dangerous--ring the bell and hold him off until I come.
Tim's supporters strove to hold him off the floor so that his hand would still be above the grasping hands that shot up.
I was weak but found strength to hold him off and he went away.
I knew that if I could get ahead of Kiyo I could hold him off and win the race," explained Brookes.
Paraca well ahead of the dual Mornington Cup winner Gunnamatta and she had to be pushed along to hold him off at the finish.
Having been headed just over a furlong out, The Great Gatsby rallied with determination and the 8-15 favourite had to battle hard to hold him off.
He was challenged late in the race by Kevin Wood of Saugus, but Hessing was able to hold him off for the first feature win of the night.
Vera may still hold him off at the weekend and The Beatles are a threat.
Lowe led early on but Riley made a determined bid to catch him on the last lap and Lowe had to work hard to hold him off.
It looked as if Duffield was going to complete a double on Conquering Love in the mile-and-a-half-handicap, but David Nicholls's apprentice Clare Roche gave 10-1 shot Highcal a cracking ride to hold him off by half a length.
We had a great car today and we were lucky to hold him off.
Cherished Number led approaching the final furlong, and though he was strongly challenged by Queens Musician, Robert Winston kept him going to hold him off by half a length.
I knew I was strong and if I got out ahead of (McCullough), I could probably hold him off,'' Fletcher said.
But I feel pretty good that I was able to hold him off as long as I did.