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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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for delaying-action

delaying action

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
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