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.