at bay
*at bay
Fig. at a distance. (*Typically: be \at bay; keep someone or something \at bay; remain \at bay.) •

I have to keep the bill collectors at bay until I get my paycheck.

The mosquitoes will not remain at bay for very long.

* * *
{adv.} or {adj. phr.} In a place where you can no longer run away; unable to go back farther; forced to stand and fight, or face an enemy; cornered. * /The dog ran the rat into a corner, and there the rat turned at bay./ * /The police chased the thief to a roof, where they held him at bay until more policemen came to help./ Compare: BRING TO BAY.

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • at bay — {adv.} or {adj. phr.} In a place where you can no longer run away; unable to go back farther; forced to stand and fight, or face an enemy; cornered. * /The dog ran the rat into a corner, and there the rat turned at bay./ * /The police chased the… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • at bay — late 14c., originally often at the bay; see BAY (Cf. bay) (n.3). Figurative use, of human beings in difficulties, is from c.1400. The expression reflects the former more widespread use of AT (Cf. at). Earlier the expression be at abai was used of …   Etymology dictionary

  • at bay — ► at bay trapped or cornered. Main Entry: ↑bay …   English terms dictionary

  • at bay — at a distance, away from you    The smoke keeps the mosquitoes at bay. They don t like smoke …   English idioms

  • at bay — adjective forced to turn and face attackers (Freq. 4) a stag at bay she had me cornered between the porch and her car like a trapped animal • Syn: ↑cornered, ↑trapped, ↑treed …   Useful english dictionary

  • at bay — adverb a) Unable to come closer; at a distance. In that case the enemy himself could have occupied the defences of Corinth and held at bay all the Union troops that arrived. b) Cornered; unable to flee. These two books of sacred, and secular,… …   Wiktionary

  • at\ bay — adv or adj. phr. In a place where you can no longer run away; unable to go back farther; forced to stand and fight, or face an enemy; cornered. The dog ran the rat into a corner, and there the rat turned at bay. The police chased the thief to a… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • at bay — the smoke did little to keep the mosquitoes at bay Syn: at a distance, away, off, at arm s length …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • at bay — trapped or cornered. → bay …   English new terms dictionary

  • at bay — trapped (See pursuit) …   English dictionary for students

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”