When push comes to shove, the pressure of staving off Ghana, Portugal, and Germany fell on Howard.
Which is exactly how I plan on staving off boredom this Yom Kippur.
Ten of the colonists volunteered for the service, and were provided from the storehouse with axes for staving in the boards.
He was staving drunk, and went forward, as I thought, to get up his anchor.
The boat rowed in and was kept from staving in her keel on the land-wash by Nolan and his men.
Yes, Lizzy, I know it, but I had been staving off this hour for many and many a year.
He was waiting for me, staving off as best he could the rush of bodies around him; shielding Hope from the savage jostling.
A stick fell plump upon the bottom of the tub, staving it in.
I went out of the Mission and got blind, staving drunk; was hardly able to get up stairs to my bed at eleven o'clock, at night.
Lucy had only been staving off the unpleasantness she had to speak.
"piece of a barrel," 1750, back-formation from staves (late 14c.), plural of staff (cf. leaves/leaf), possibly from Old English, but not recorded there. The verb (to stave in, past tense stove) is 1590s, originally nautical, on notion of bashing in the staves of a cask and letting out the contents; stave off (1620s) is literally "keep off with a staff," as of dogs.