man the fort

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man the fort (third-person singular simple present mans the fort, present participle manning the fort, simple past and past participle manned the fort)

  1. (idiomatic) To take care of a place or situation in another's absence.
    • 1995, Richard Price, Sally Price, Enigma variations (page 44)
      He excused himself from his nephew, ran a comb through his hair, buttoned up a clean shirt, and told his eight-year-old son to man the fort while he was gone.