stave off

(redirected from staved off)

stave off

To defend against or keep someone or something at bay; to delay something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stave" and "off." He's been trying to scrounge up money so that he can stave off his creditors for a while longer. An old trick is to suck on a pebble to stave your thirst off.
See also: off, stave
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
Here, apparently, was the Palaeontological Section, and a very splendid array of fossils it must have been, though the inevitable process of decay that had been staved off for a time, and had, through the extinction of bacteria and fungi, lost ninety-nine hundredths of its force, was nevertheless, with extreme sureness if with extreme slowness at work again upon all its treasures.
I think he'll turn him round: I think the nomination may be staved off."
I saw in this, the reason for my being staved off so long, and the reason for my late guardian's declining to commit himself to the formal knowledge of such a scheme.
He 's done his best; but it can't be staved off any longer, and it 's all up with him."
In the other game, Wangs-Letran staved off a late Go for Gold rally to win a third straight match, 91-88, and rise to 5-2.
Somerset had staved off an innings defeat, largely thanks to Peter Trego's century, but Notts returned on the final morning needing only 44 runs to complete a chase of 110.
UBS (NYSE: UBS) has successfully staved off calls made by activist investor, Knight Vinke Asset Management, to break up its investment bank.
LEINSTER fell to their first defeat at Hughenden in five years as Glasgow Warriors staved off a late rally for a 26-20 victory.
ANDRE AGASSI staved off retirement with a riveting 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 victory over Romania's Andrei Pavel on what turned out to be a late night at the US Open.
Executives temporarily staved off the problem by sending the company's reps to post answers to common problems on high-traffic message boards frequented by online auctioneers.
Kevin should be best remembered for the goals that staved off relegation after he arrived at the club five years ago.
The agreement staved off the threat of bankruptcy for the national church and several dioceses, although the diocese of Cariboo in British Columbia in 2001 suspended diocesan operations under financial pressure from residential school lawsuits.
"In this depressed selling environment, Oracle, ARIBA and Manugistics staved off market share advances from vendors within the top 10 in market share such as Freemarkets, JDA, J.D.
This growth, coupled with the influx of Downtown tenants, effectively staved off any significant increases in availability space.
Bankruptcy is staved off but Sir Richard Eyre (former Royal National Theatre director) is asked to report on the option of moving the English National Opera into the ROH, along with the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera.