stave off

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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

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

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 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 classic literature ?
C., but there is a limit to staving off, and we have reached it.
He appreciated the swift and stringent response of the security forces in staving off the terrorist attack.
The world's nations will gather at a UN conference in South Korea today to review and approve a 20-page bombshell - distilled from more than 6,000 scientific studies - laying out narrowing options for staving off climate catastrophe.
She chuckles as she discusses with her friends their strategies for going up and down the basement stairs to do the laundry while staving off falls and the dreaded hip fracture.
There is much to be gained from using the forward pull of gravity in your running to keep you going longer and stronger, working less to achieve more, and staving off the pain associated with the Wall during marathons and other long races.
Research has consistently shown that making music offers health benefits for people of all ages, including relieving stress in adults and staving off some effects of aging in the older population.
Staving off large state-court damage awards can potentially save participants coverage costs and help health plans increase profits.
S (Damon Wayans) and staving off a boycott led by ultraconservative senator Mary Ellen Spinkle (Christine Baranski).
They hope the trees will cross-pollinate in the wild, staving off the disease in future generations of the species.
An organ transplant gives many people a second chance at life, but the harsh drugs required for staving off immune rejection of the new tissues seem to hike a recipient's risk of cancer.
Zoos whose biggest priority now is packing 'em in for the new gorilla exhibit should instead focus all efforts on staving off what is being called the biggest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.
Staving off seasickness, I viewed many pelagic species and three species of whale, including the extremely rare North Atlantic right whale.
4 security officials martyred staving off terrorist attack on FC centre
Simply put, adding distance increases caloric expenditure, and this is an effective means of staving off undesired weight gain as we age.
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.