at bay

at bay  {adv.} or  {adj. phr.}
In a place where you can no longer run away; unable to go back farther; forced to stand and fight, or face an enemy; cornered.
The dog ran the rat into a corner, and there the rat turned at bay.
The police chased the thief to a roof, where they held him at bay until more policemen came to help.
Compare: BRING TO BAY.
Categories: adjective adverb