stay (one's) hand

(redirected from stay his hand)

stay (one's) hand

To stop or prevent someone or oneself from doing something. The board was prepared to fire him over the offense, but they stayed their hand and opted to suspend him from his role instead. See if you can stay her hand before she signs the deal.
See also: hand, stay

stay someone's hand

restrain someone from acting.
See also: hand, stay

stay your/somebody’s ˈhand

(old-fashioned or literary) stop yourself/somebody from doing something; prevent somebody from doing something: He reached for his keys, but Rosa stayed his hand.
See also: hand, stay
References in classic literature ?
At length Hugh, after some elbowing and winking between himself and Mr Dennis, ventured to stay his hand, and to ask him why he meddled with that riband in his hat.
Another factor which may persuade him to stay his hand is the uncertainty hanging over the head of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
But right now, Abramovich is faced with the dilemma of whether to act immediately or stay his hand.
He indicated that both coroners should re-examine the position if new material came to light, saying: "In my judgment, either coroner should stay his hand.
Abramovich is faced with the dilemma of whether to act immediately to get rid of Claudio Ranieri or stay his hand.