at bay

Definition of at bay

  1. :  in the position of being unable to move closer while attacking or trying to approach someone —used with keep or hold The soldiers kept the attackers at bay. —often used figuratively The doctors have been able to keep her illness at bay for several months.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  reddish brown

  1. :  an animal that is a reddish-brown color :  a bay (see 1bay) animal

    :  a horse with a bay-colored body and black mane, tail, and points (see 1point 6b(3)) — compare chestnut 4, 1sorrel 1

    :  a reddish brown

  1. :  a principal compartment of the walls, roof, or other part of a building or of the whole building

    :  a main division of a structure

    :  any of various compartments or sections used for a special purpose (as in an airplane, spacecraft, or gas station)

  1. :  to bark with prolonged tones

    :  to cry out :  shout

    :  to bark at

  1. :  an instance of a dog barking with prolonged tones :  a baying (see 4bay 1) of dogs

    :  the position of one unable to retreat and forced to face danger

    :  the position of one checked

  1. :  an inlet of the sea or other body of water usually smaller than a gulf

    :  a small body of water set off from the main body

    :  any of various terrestrial formations resembling a bay of the sea

  1. :  laurel

    :  any of several shrubs or trees (as the red bay or sweet bay ) resembling the laurel — compare bay rum

    :  a garland or crown especially of laurel given as a prize for victory or excellence

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up at bay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to criticize severely

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