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- (idiomatic) to prevent something from happening; to obviate or avert
- He drank plenty of orange juice, hoping to stave off the cold making the rounds at the office.
- ?, Alfred Tennyson, Geraint and Enid
- And answered with such craft as women use, / Guilty or guiltless, to stave off a chance / That breaks upon them perilously.
- 2011, Jamie Noguchi, Yellow Peril: The View
- LANCE: Only through my training as a sex machine am I able to stave off genital turgidity.
- 2020 April 8, Howard Johnston, “East-ended? When the ECML was at risk”, in Rail, page 69:
prevent something from happening