give (one) pause

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give (one) pause

To cause one to take a moment to consider something; to cause one to hesitate. I'd love to buy a house, but the fact that I'd have to completely deplete my savings account to do it gives me pause. That statistic should give everyone pause.
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give someone pause (for thought)

Fig. to cause someone to stop and think. When I see a golden sunrise, it gives me pause for thought. Witnessing an accident is likely to give all of us pause.
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give pause

Cause one to hesitate, as in The high monthly installment payments gave me pause, or, as Shakespeare put it in Hamlet (3:1): "For in that sleep of death what dreams may come ... Must give us pause." [c. 1600]
See also: give, pause
References in periodicals archive ?
But if parading a shirtless Adam in front of the bride-to-be doesn't work, perhaps letting Jack know that Darcy booked the wedding venue before he'd even proposed will give him pause for thought...
The change to Bermuda grass will give him pause for thought, but going back to a happy hunting ground is bound to excite.
You'd think the potential for accusations of hypocrisy would give him pause before he posted the pic.
Mueller's own treatment of the role of Hitler or the Japanese military elite in bringing on World War II should give him pause in this regard.