at bay

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.

Word by Word Definitions

bay play
  1. : reddish brown

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

  2. : a reddish brown

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

  2. : a main division of a structure

  3. : 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

  2. : to cry out : shout

  3. : to bark at

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

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

  3. : the position of one checked

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

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

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

  1. : laurel

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

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



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