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Answered 2009-02-05 15:19:44

This is not really an idiom. Baying is a continuous barking by hounds. To keep something at bay means to prevent its escape by surrounding it with barking dogs, or by extension, to prevent a problem from getting out of control by maintaining constant vigilance.

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It is just an idiom and has no history.


It's not an idiom. "At bay" means helpless, in a corner where you can't get out. To hold at bay just means to corner or trap someone or something and keep it from moving or acting.


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