head off at the pass
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to head off at the pass: cut some slack, along the lines, run an errand, same old same old, To Say the Least, worse for wear
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
head (someone or something) off at the pass
1. Literally, to prevent someone or something from reaching or passing a certain point, especially to escape. If we take this route, we should be able to head them off at the pass, sheriff! Janet's going to spill the beans about our plan to the teacher. I think she's going through the library, so if we're quick, we can head her off at the pass.
2. By extension, to preempt or forestall someone from doing something or something from happening. The aim of this new treatment method is to identify the disease much earlier and then head it off the pass, rather than simply managing the symptoms it presents down the line.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
head someone off at the pass
Fig. to intercept someone. (From Old West movies. Fixed order.) I need to talk to John before he gets into the boss's office. I'll head him off at the pass. The sheriff set out in a hurry to head Jed off at the pass.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.