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hold (or keep) someone/thing at bay

Definition of hold or keep someone/thing at bay in English:

Prevent someone or something from approaching or having an effect: drugs were keeping severe pain at bay
More example sentences
  • So long as the network is adequately protected, hackers can be kept at bay and prevented from stealing the personal information required to commit frauds in your name.
  • During the building of the Towers engineers had to hold back the old river muck and keep it at bay to prevent the collapse of the unstable grounds during excavation.
  • The movie was only finished early last month and reviewers have been kept at bay, to prevent illegal copies of the film being made and to ensure that it's release will be accompanied by an unprecedented blast of publicity.
See parent entry: bay

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