pull up short


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pull someone up short

to cause someone to stop short. My scream pulled him up short. The sudden thought that everything might not be all right pulled Tom up short.
See also: pull, short, up

pull somebody up short

if something pulls someone up short, they suddenly stop what they are doing, especially because they are very surprised Seeing her picture in the paper pulled me up short. (American)
See also: pull, short, up