Definition of hold someone/something off in US English:

hold someone/something off

phrasal verb

  • Resist an attacker or challenge.

    ‘he held off a late challenge by Vose to win by thirteen seconds’
    • ‘He pushed the men away and held them off until the police arrived and the attackers ran off.’
    • ‘But even if someone does come at me, I think I'm playing well enough that I can hopefully hold them off.’
    • ‘The Indians attacked again at dusk, but they were held off by rifle and cannon fire.’
    • ‘The Liberal Democrats held them off in Torbay, which had been the most marginal seat in the country, and Labour retained Putney, in south west London, another key Tory target.’
    • ‘With all his might he fought to hold her off.’
    • ‘Thankfully we had got into our game by then and managed to hold them off.’
    • ‘They really went for it and our lads did well to hold them off and obtain the point.’
    • ‘Robert is having the challenge of his life trying to hold the other five off, but he is standing strong.’
    • ‘The four were gaining but could we hold them off?’
    • ‘It took hundreds of cops and begging the owner of a local gun store for enough weapons to hold these guys off.’
    resist, repel, repulse, rebuff, parry, deflect, keep off, fend off, stave off, ward off, keep at bay
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