Definition of rearguard action
1 : a defensive or delaying fight engaged in by a rear guard (as in covering the retreat of an army or the evacuation of a besieged garrison)
2 : an effort put forth by means of preventive or delaying measures or tactics and usually against great odds in defense of a threatened existing order or situation or in opposition to a proposed new departure to be something of a brake, to perform a rearguard action, if you will, on inflationary trends— D. V. Brown dissipate their influence in relatively ineffective rearguard actions designed to prevent particular regulatory measures— H. R. Bowen
evasion of direct action or statement
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