stave off

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stave off (third-person singular simple present staves off, present participle staving off, simple past and past participle staved off or stove off)

  1. (idiomatic) to prevent something from happening; to obviate or avert
    He drank plenty of orange juice, hoping to stave off the cold making the rounds at the office.
    • 1859, Alfred Tennyson, “Enid”, in Idylls of the King, London: Edward Moxon & Co., [], →OCLC, page 64:
      [Enid] answer'd with such craft as women use, / Guilty or guiltless, to stave off a chance / That breaks upon them perilously, []
    • 2011, Jamie Noguchi, Yellow Peril: The View
      LANCE: Only through my training as a sex machine am I able to stave off genital turgidity.
    • 2020 April 8, Howard Johnston, “East-ended? When the ECML was at risk”, in Rail, page 69:
      So it was perhaps political backlash from the trebling of public transport times between Harlech to Porthmadog if buses took over that staved off immediate talks of closure and the release of a £241,000 subsidy (2020: £3.8m).