cut (one) off at the pass

(redirected from cut him off at the pass)

cut (one) off at the pass

To keep one from doing something (that usually involves an escape). Jeremy has been acting suspicious, so he's probably going to try to sneak out tonight, but I'm going to cut him off at the pass.
See also: cut, off, pass
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cut someone off at the pass

Fig. to block someone's effort to get away; to thwart someone's efforts. They are ahead now, but we'll cut them off at the pass. Try to cut off the bandits at the pass!
See also: cut, off, pass
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cut off at the pass, to

To stop or intercept. This expression comes from chase sequences in western movies of the 1930s and 1940s, in which pursuers (usually the “good” cowboys) would try to intercept their quarry (the outlaws) at a mountain pass. It gradually was extended to other endeavors. According to Brewer’s Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Phrase and Fable, in 1973 President Richard Nixon used the term on the Watergate tapes, saying that the charge of obstructing justice might be cut off at the pass.
See also: cut, off, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Can anyone on this planet who believes in God and an afterlife believe someone in hell can protest to God that he didn't have time to repent, as those capital punishment fanatics cut him off at the pass?
Reinfeld cut him off at the pass by asking, "Meyer, is your wife your best friend?" The man began hemming and hawing and wouldn't give a direct answer.
Just when the love story is beginning, Luo Changyu is suddenly ordered to leave, prompting one of the movie's most magical sequences, in which Zhao Di runs hither and yon with a bowl of his favorite steamed dumplings as she tries to cut him off at the pass.