delaying action

noun Military.
  1. a maneuver in which a defensive force delays the advance of a superior enemy force by withdrawing while inflicting the maximum destruction possible without engaging in decisive combat.
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British Dictionary definitions for delaying action

delaying action

noun
  1. a measure or measures taken to gain time, as when weaker military forces harass the advance of a superior enemy without coming to a pitched battle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012