at bay

idiom

Definition of at bay

: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on at bay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with at bay

Nglish: Translation of at bay for Spanish Speakers

Comments on at bay

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to fake an opponent out of position

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!