delaying action

noun Military.
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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World English Dictionary
delaying action
 
n
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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
Negotiations were a device for delaying action until the moment was auspicious.
The impact of a one-month delay may not be consequential, but the impact of delaying action longer may be catastrophic.
Delaying action would increase the ultimate cost of constraining the growth of the federal debt.
The delaying action prevents flood water from rapidly rising and threatening lives and property.
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