I'm looking for a word or phrase which means "postponing the inevitable"

Ex :

"Doing this action is merely postponing the inevitable"

"This action is _____"

"Trying to stop me is only postponing the inevitable"

"Trying to stop me is _____"

There are words like "futile" but it doesn't fit exactly.

  • Not really, like you want to delay a catastrophe but you know it's inevitable.
    – Hawker65
    Jun 22 '17 at 12:23
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  • 1
    I have not come across such a word to describe that phrase. What is wrong with just saying "postponing the inevitable"?
    – Hank
    Jun 22 '17 at 13:07
  • What words or phrases have you considered, why didn't they 'fit exactly'?
    – Spagirl
    Jun 22 '17 at 13:09
  • An action can be described as a stall or stalling. There's also prevarication. Jun 22 '17 at 13:14

You can describe an event as a stall or as stalling

Merriam-Webster offers the following definitions:

stall noun

  • a ruse to deceive or delay

stall verb

  • to play for time : delay
  • to hold off, divert, or delay by evasion or deception
  • If you have synonyms or similar words, don't hesitate!
    – Hawker65
    Jun 22 '17 at 13:26
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    And where is in stall the inevitability which you were talking about? There is nothing inevitable or inescapable in this word or in any of its synonyms. Jun 22 '17 at 14:00
  • @User26328, in a way it's absent ... however the word stall has no implication that it will prevent either. If an event is coming, then the stall will not alter that, it only changes the when of the event. Jun 22 '17 at 14:06
  • I prefer my original answer, but there are also the concepts of a temporary reprieve and a stay of execution. Jun 22 '17 at 17:05
  • @ΥΣΕΡ26328 I like stall because it shows that the action is a mere pause, and it does not prevent anything in any way.
    – Hawker65
    Jul 18 '17 at 9:50

I would suggest the adjective doomed, which refers exactly to the inevitability of an event.

Likely to have an unfortunate and inescapable outcome; ill-fated.

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    It seems to describe more the finality, the unavoidable event than the action(s) trying to delay the said event.
    – Hawker65
    Jun 22 '17 at 12:29
  • ... Yes – it doesn't refer to delaying tactics at all. Jun 22 '17 at 15:01

Stopgap [stop-gap]/ noun

  1. something that fills the place of something else that is lacking; temporary substitute; makeshift.

"This action is only a stopgap." - implying that a more permanent solution is necessary to actually change the end result.

"Riding on a spare tire is only a stopgap. You will need to get a new tire if you want to drive your car much longer."

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