stave off


staved off; staving off; staves off

transitive verb

: to fend off
staving off creditors
: to ward off (something adverse) : forestall
trying to stave off disaster

Examples of stave off in a Sentence

managed to stave off the invaders the quartermaster staved off a shortage by requisitioning more than enough supplies
Recent Examples on the Web Facing that possibility, the school has hired several law firms and is considering a range of legal options to stave off any consequences. Billy Witz, New York Times, 30 Jan. 2024 Precautions like using lip balm and sunscreen go a long way towards staving off sores—as can keeping a journal of possible triggers and learning to avoid them. Mark Hay, SELF, 26 Jan. 2024 Music might have the power to stave off dementia People who played instruments or sang could have stronger memory and cognitive function, researchers found. Melissa Rudy, Fox News, 4 Feb. 2024 Blanco then calls the authorities on herself after learning Salazar is on the West Coast, in an effort to stave off his revenge. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2024 That protection could extend to more renters who get approval in the meantime, which should stave off an eviction notice from their landlord. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2024 Congress is also heading toward a funding cliff, with deadlines to stave off a government shutdown next month. Kaia Hubbard, CBS News, 1 Feb. 2024 Somehow, the antechinus can stave off most of these negative effects for weeks. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 25 Jan. 2024 The Legislature staved off a deficit in the account in the 2023-25 state budget partly by raising the price of nonresident hunting and fishing licenses, generating nearly $5 million in additional revenue over the two-year-period. Todd Richmond, Twin Cities, 24 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stave off.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stave off was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near stave off

Cite this Entry

“Stave off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

stave off

: to force or keep away : fend off
stave off trouble

More from Merriam-Webster on stave off

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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