Action taken to gain time, especially a military engagement that delays the advance of an enemy.
- ‘Just as in dispersed defense, delaying action can include a wide use of artificial obstacles of all types, ambush action, and blocking fire.’
- ‘The new 1945 plan called for delaying action along the border and withdrawal to prepared defensive lines and then to a stronghold area in southeastern Manchuria.’
- ‘And the plan was to fight a delaying action, not decisive battles: Let the Napoleon invade.’
- ‘His courageous delaying action enabled his comrades to reorganize and effect an orderly withdrawal.’
- ‘Even in the short term, this move is a nice delaying action.’