hold off

[hold off] {v.} 1a. To refuse to let (someone) become friendly.

The president's high rank and chilly manner held people off.

Compare: KEEP AT A DISTANCE. 1b. To be rather shy or unfriendly.

Perkins was a scholarly man who held off from people.

Compare: KEEPAT A DISTANCE. 2. To keep away by fighting; oppose by force.

Theman locked himself in the house and held off the police for an hour.

3. To wait before (doing something); postpone; delay.

Jack held offpaying for the television set until the dealer fixed it.

Mr. Smithheld off from building while interest rates were high.