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

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 ?
Under the leadership of president Patrick Delord, the staving mill hand selects the finest sessile oak from the forests of Central France, then splits, cuts, and air dries each stave for up to 36 months.
Recognized as an expert in saving and restoring school music programs, Benham has been credited with staving off more than $62 million in potential budgetary reductions in music throughout the United States and Canada.
VAN NUYS - Staving off more drastic cuts, the MTA's San Fernando Valley Service Sector Council on Wednesday approved changes to two Valley bus lines that reduce primarily late night service, but keep most other runs intact.
Now, researchers report that brain scans tracking a new compound can highlight these plaques in living people undergoing early stages of disease, when therapies maybe most effective at staving off future memory loss.
Staving off a huge downturn in blood donations, the American Red Cross kicked off its annual Save-a-Life Sunday blood drive at various Los Angeles churches, including four sites in the San Fernando Valley.
Tight control of blood sugar may offer one strategy for staving off microvascular complications, but such control has proved difficult to achieve.