put the cart before the horse

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put the cart before the horse

To do things out of the proper order. Starting the fundraiser before we know how much we need is putting the cart before the horse.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

put the cart before the horse

Fig. to have things in the wrong order; to have things confused and mixed up. (Also with have.) You're eating your dessert first! You've put the cart before the horse. John has the cart before the horse in most of his projects.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

cart before the horse, put the

Reverse the proper order of things or events, as in Don't put the cart before the horse and give away the punch line. This expression has been used since antiquity but was first recorded in English in 1520.
See also: before, cart, put

put the cart before the horse

If you put the cart before the horse, you do things in the wrong order. Creating large numbers of schools before we've improved school management is putting the cart before the horse. Let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's actually find out what the problem is before we try to solve it. Note: Cart and horse are also used in many other structures and expressions with a similar meaning. They want to go down the road with the cart before the horse and spend the money before they have made it. These kids are encouraged to compete before they actually have the skills to win. We've got ourselves a cart-before-the-horse situation.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

put the cart before the horse

reverse the proper order or procedure of something.
A medieval version of this expression was set the oxen before the yoke . The version with horse and cart dates from the early 16th century.
1998 Spectator It's putting the cart before the horse. All history shows that if you want to create a political union, you do that first and the single currency follows.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

put the ˌcart before the ˈhorse

put or do things in the wrong order: Don’t plan the menu before deciding how many people to invite — it’s like putting the cart before the horse.
See also: before, cart, horse, put