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set out (one's) stall
To prove one's motivation or determination to achieve or do something by preparing to achieve or do it. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. My parents don't think I'm serious about becoming a designer, but I'm going to set out my stall by creating my first line this summer. He has certainly set out his stall to graduate first in his class, and so far he's on track to do it.
stall for (something)
1. To create a delay or distraction for a length of time or in order to achieve, obtain, or accomplish something. I need to you stall for a few minutes while I get the projector set up for the presentation. The boxer tried to stall for a rest by clinching his opponent.
2. To slow, falter, or stop progressing for some length or period of time. Reports are indicating that the economy will continue to stall for the third year in a row. Development on the prototype stalled for several weeks as we tried to source the materials we needed.
3. To delay or distract someone or something with evasive or prevaricating language or behavior for a certain length of time. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "stall" and "for." I stalled the teacher for a little while so Johnny could finish writing in his answers to the quiz. Are you almost ready? I don't think I can stall the tribunal for much longer!
4. To cause something to slow, falter, or stop progressing for some length or period of time. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "stall" and "for." The intense cold has already stalled drilling in the area for two months, and there's no end to the cold snap in sight. The senator tried stalling the vote for the day in order to make some last-minute amendments to it.
See also: stall
stall for time
1. To create a delay or distraction in order to gain additional time. My presentation was totally worthless without my slides, so all I could do was stall for time until Mary got the projector working again. The judge accused the prosecutor of stalling for time.
2. To delay or distract someone or something with evasive or prevaricating language or behavior in order to gain time. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "stall" and "for." He kept talking to stall the criminal for time until the police arrived.
To avoid, evade, or delay dealing with someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stall" and "off." A: "If that's the bank manager calling me about the mortgage, tell her I'm not home." B: "You can't keep stalling her off forever, you know." I've been stalling off the investigation for nearly a week, trying to get our accounts in order before the auditor comes to look at them.
stall for time
to cause a delay intentionally. You are just stalling for time. Please hurry. she is stalling for time, hoping someone will rescue her.
stall someone or something for something
to delay someone or something for a period of time. I stalled him for as long as I could. I could not stall the proceedings for another second.
See also: stall
stall someone or something off
to put off or delay someone or something. The sheriff is at the door. I'll stall him off while you get out the back door. You can stall off the sheriff, but you can't stall off justice.
set out your stallBRITISH
If you set out your stall you show your intentions or beliefs in a way that is very clear and determined. He has set out his stall to retain his place in Europe's Ryder Cup team. The Prime Minister last night set out his stall for a third election win.