stay (one's) hand

(redirected from stay my 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 ?
Ulysses again glared at him and said, "Though you should give me all that you have in the world both now and all that you ever shall have, I will not stay my hand till I have paid all of you in full.
You need not do so, for I well know that I am to fall here, far from my dear father and mother; none the more, however, shall I stay my hand till I have given the Trojans their fill of fighting."
woe is me!" cried the lieutenant; "there's only one man in the world who could stay my hand; by a fatality that very man bars my way.
It's that which causes me to stay my hand and an alternative to custody is available."
Judge Marrinan told the court the custody threshold had clearly been passed but he had decided "to stay my hand because of the very harrowing experiences you have had in a difficult life".
But on hearing that my free copy is on the way, I have decided to stay my hand. I can be bought, and on this occasion the price is pounds 62.