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Stave off   /steɪv ɔf/   Listen
Stave off

verb
1.
Prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening.  Synonyms: avert, avoid, debar, deflect, fend off, forefend, forfend, head off, obviate, ward off.  "Head off a confrontation" , "Avert a strike"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Stave off" Quotes from Famous Books



... Christianity. Autocratic Hydro and Mackenzie the loosening octopus; New Ontario preaching up the old plaint of secession; better roads and prodigal Mr. Biggs; what to do with Education that Cody had not started to do; how to stave off commissions on reform of the school system; the constant queues of moral reformers; the new menace of the movies and the censorship farce; the timber stealers; disconcerting Dewart and redundant Ferguson; returned soldiers and khaki members; the Reds and the plain clothes men; blustering Morrison, ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... punishment upon them. So act that when you are giving an account of your stewardship your year of office may be felt to have been all too short[754]. If you have acted justly, and earned the goodwill of your Provincials, you will have no need of gifts to stave off accusations. ...
— The Letters of Cassiodorus - Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of - Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator • Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)

... the kind that takes you by storm, Captain Kirby is one that will lay siege. He doesn't come so often as the other, he doesn't stay so long, he doesn't say so much; but he is the kind that sticks. I may be able to stave off the lieutenant, but I shall have to have it out with ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... empire was infested by Turks on the one hand and Normans on the other, while the crusaders who passed through his territory proved more troublesome than either. He managed to hold the empire together in spite of these troubles, and to stave off the doom that impended all through his reign of thirty-seven ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... at the time we speak of, when many deaths among their kith and kin had afforded full proof that the goddess was enraged, they met in solemn conclave and decided to perform every Sunday and Tuesday night for a month such a ceremony as would delight the heart of that powerful deity and stave off further mortality. The limitation of the period of propitiation to one month was based not so much upon religious grounds as upon the fact that a Municipality, with purely Western ideas of sanitation and of combating epidemics, refused to allow the maintenance of the shed, which ...
— By-Ways of Bombay • S. M. Edwardes, C.V.O.

... of luck, supplemented by the business capacity of the old merchant and the indomitable energy of young Dimsdale, made the concern look so flourishing that the former felt more than ever convinced that if he could but stave off the immediate danger things would soon right themselves. Hence he read with delight the letters from Africa, in which his son narrated the success of the conspiracy and the manner in which the miners had been hoodwinked. The old man's figure grew ...
— The Firm of Girdlestone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... Prince Eitel, when at sight of Louis Raincy the blond hairs of his moustache would bristle like those of an angry cat, while Louis glowered a more sullen defiance. Only Miss Aline managed to stave off the storm, but even with her shepherding of the elements, it was bound to break ...
— Patsy • S. R. Crockett

... take him something wherewith to stave off the pangs of hunger," says the younger Miss Beresford, with that grandeur of style she usually affects in moments of strong excitement, and with the vigor that distinguishes her. "I see; certainly." She grows abstracted. "There's a leg of mutton hanging in the larder, with some ...
— Rossmoyne • Unknown

... always wondered what the hedgers would have said if they had suddenly had their rustic on dit capped with the tale of how the hemlock was used in Athens 2,400 years ago. Did the "woman" of Somersetshire stave off the effects of the poison by walking about? Did her limbs grow cold and numb and dead while the brain still worked? But such questions are destined to remain for ever unanswered. Country people do not like to be cross-questioned ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... I couldn't stave off meetin' Sadie's glance any longer. "Eh?" says I. "Why, that's only Mabel. Cunnin' little thing, ...
— Shorty McCabe on the Job • Sewell Ford

... till nature faints with the effort of resistance, and lies passive and hopeless under the next access of temptation. What we need then is some expedient or instrument, which at least will obstruct and stave off the approach of our spiritual enemy, and which is sufficiently congenial and level with our nature to maintain as firm a hold upon us as the inducements of sensual gratification. It will be our wisdom to employ nature against itself. Thus sorrow, ...
— The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated: In Nine - Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin • John Henry Newman

... possible, that is the way to starve it. Lady Elizabeth was a bad ambassador; and Cousin George, when he took his leave, promising to be ready to meet Sir Harry at twelve on the morrow, could almost comfort himself with a prospect of success. He might be successful, if only he could stave off the Walker and Bullbean portion of Mr. Hart's persecution! For he understood that the success of his views at Humblethwaite must postpone the payment by Sir Harry of those moneys for which Mr. Hart and Captain Stubber were so unreasonably greedy. He would ...
— Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite • Anthony Trollope

... thrown open and while the British army was still there, and leaving it in January, 1845. In that short time, notwithstanding interruptions from sickness and of voyages in search of health, or rather to stave off death till others were ready to take his place, he laid a good foundation, doing a work that told and was lasting. I met him only once. It was at his father's house in New Brunswick, after his work at Amoy-after all his public work was ...
— Forty Years in South China - The Life of Rev. John Van Nest Talmage, D.D. • Rev. John Gerardus Fagg

... is that, sir? Some promising opportunity might come up, and I don't see what could stop us from taking advantage of it. If there are only about twenty men on board this machine, I don't think they can stave off ...
— 20000 Leagues Under the Seas • Jules Verne

... of a somewhat grisly character, which Abner had composed during the holiday season. Bond had taxed him with using this work as a buffer to stave off other work of a practical nature such as was abundantly offered by Giles and his father about the farm; and, to tell the truth, Abner had limited his physical exertions to half-hour periods that most other men would have charged to the ...
— Under the Skylights • Henry Blake Fuller

... him with the morrow's unthinkable compulsion. What mad adventure was this? Here he was at home hunting Charley Hannaford. Well, but his father was close at hand, and Father Halloran just below, who had always protected him. At this game he could go on for ever, if only it would stave off tomorrow. To-morrow— ...
— Two Sides of the Face - Midwinter Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... testify and she asked me all the questions she could think of on what to do and what to say. I reassured her, telling her the district attorney was friendly to Jim and that I was confident our testimony as to Helen's words would stave off any indictment until Helen was well enough ...
— 32 Caliber • Donald McGibeny

... that account, they additionally cherished—this I learnt from the previous authority referred to. Nay, the old lady wished above all things that the ci-devant judge should marry and continue his line, a thing that for some special reason he did not desire, and found it difficult to stave off to her. This also from the same authority. Though very old, no legal ground could be found on enquiry by which ...
— Trial of Mary Blandy • William Roughead

... his house, instead of laying stress, as we do, on rosewood pianos and carved mahogany, his first ambition is for a handsome camphor-wood coffin, which he keeps in the best place in his room. The interest of money is thirty-six per cent, which, to be sure, we also give in hard times to stave off a stoppage, while with them it is the legal rate. We once heard a bad dinner described thus: "The meat was cold, the wine was hot, and everything was sour but the vinegar." This would not so much displease the Chinese, who carefully ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... significant that during the most critical period of the 1862 campaign, the most glorious to the Confederacy, Lee was Commander-in-Chief of the Southern armies. But when Lee left Richmond for the Northern border, Davis once more assumed supreme control, retaining it until it was too late to stave off ruin. ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... fair lady in after years, was that Goldsmith read to her and her sister the first part of a novel which he had in hand. It was doubtless the manuscript mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, on which he had obtained an advance of money from Newbery to stave off some pressing debts, and to provide funds for this very visit. It never was finished. The bookseller, when he came afterward to examine the manuscript, objected to it as a mere narrative version of the Good-Natured Man. Goldsmith, too easily put out of conceit of ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... the Boer army was occupied and exhausted in futile efforts to take the town and stave off the relieving forces. Four precious months were wasted by the enemy in a vain enterprise. Fierce and bloody fighting raged for several weeks with heavy loss to both sides, but without shame to either. In the end the British were completely ...
— London to Ladysmith via Pretoria • Winston Spencer Churchill

... stave off the worst by not looking at him, by looking at other things, impersonal, innocent things; the bright, yellow, sharp gabled station; the black girders of the bridge; the white signal post beside it holding out a stiff, black-banded arm; the two rails curving there, with the flat ...
— The Romantic • May Sinclair

... removal of the pro-Austrian Obrenovitches and being in close touch with Montenegro and Bulgaria was planning another coup in the Balkans. Albania was resisting it. The Turks under pressure from the Powers were striving to smooth matters down sufficiently to stave off the final crash that drew ever nearer. They arrested a number of headmen and exacted some punishment for Shtcherbina's death. Though if a consul chooses to take part in a local fight he alone is responsible ...
— Twenty Years Of Balkan Tangle • Durham M. Edith

... to be seen on the day when I had my first visitor, and the shock of surprise when the cell door was opened to admit Cyrus Whitredge, the lawyer whose bungling defense had done so little to stave off my conviction, was almost like a premonition of further disaster. Before I could rise from my seat on the cot he was shaking hands with me and twisting his dry, leathery face into its ...
— Branded • Francis Lynde

... one of these three conditions would stave off recognition by foreign powers, until we had ourselves abandoned the attempt to reduce ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... measure could have been decently avoided, most certainly not, consistent with the letter and spirit of my instructions. I have endeavored to adapt the mode to the main end I have in view, that is, to stave off any question touching the expediency of the voyage at this time, or prior to my obtaining permission to make it; for the reasons mentioned in my letter of the 24th instant, as well as for others, which it may not be prudent to ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. VIII • Various

... astonishment that he could bide his time so patiently, without any pang of anxiety, or hope, or agonizing misgiving. He thought of Irene, but only of her welfare. If he were not brought down by a chance bullet early in the fray, he felt quite certain of being able to stave off the final rush long enough to give Abdur Kad'r a breathing spell, he had sufficient confidence in that wily old Arab's resources to believe that he would outwit his pursuers, provided they lost a good deal of time in ...
— The Wheel O' Fortune • Louis Tracy

... come times in man's life when he moves heaven and earth, figuratively speaking: prays until he can pray no more: sacrifices, it may be, his money, his health, his prospects, and does everything that is in the power of a human being in a vain attempt to stave off a threatened disaster. But, in spite of all his efforts, in spite of his cries to a pitiless heaven, the relentless march of fate cannot be stayed. It moves forward like a huge juggernaut and crushes his hopes, his dearest idol, his very life itself or all that then makes ...
— Within You is the Power • Henry Thomas Hamblin



Words linked to "Stave off" :   preclude, forbid, forestall, foreclose, prevent



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