Definition of buy time in US English:

buy time

phrase

  • Delay an event temporarily so as to have longer to improve one's own position.

    • ‘There's always hope that talks will lead to some collateral benefit - such as buying time for policy-makers without any new ideas.’
    • ‘Or is he buying time to deal with his detractors and re-emerge?’
    • ‘But the suspension buys time, if only a few months, and raises the stakes for a resumption.’
    • ‘Clearly, both parties in the process are, in the main, buying time, and there is little by way of a concrete strategy for resolution.’
    • ‘He also realised that Britain was not well prepared for war and that he needed to buy time to improve Britain's military position.’
    • ‘Transferring attention to others was a comic's way of buying time for himself; time to think of superior, alternative gags.’
    • ‘And I think it buys him time to get his policy across and build some support for it.’
    • ‘Freezing also buys time, holding the material in suspended animation until the work of cleaning and repairing begins.’
    • ‘But it buys time in the hope of getting a better eventual mix of investments and in the expectation that share prices generally will pick up.’
    • ‘‘We aren't buying time, we have never had a timeline for the signing of the proposed peace agreement,’ he said.’
    linger, dally, take one's time, drag one's feet, be slow, hold back, fall behind, lag behind, dawdle, loiter, not keep pace, waste time
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