hit the brakes

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hit the brakes

1. To quickly engage a vehicle's brakes to slow down or stop. He hit the brakes when he saw the child running into the street.
2. By extension, to slow down or stop something one is doing. We had to hit the brakes on development when we found out the investors were pulling out.
See also: brake, hit

hit the brakes

 
1. Lit. to step on a vehicle's brakes hard and fast. I came around the curve too fast and had to hit the brakes immediately.
2. Fig. to stop [something]. The project seemed to be getting nowhere so we hit the brakes before too much more money was spent.
See also: brake, hit
References in periodicals archive ?
Once one driver hits the brakes, a chain reaction can occur as other drivers tap their brakes, causing the flow of traffic to grind to a halt".
The truck driver quickly hits the brakes just in time and the child escapes unhurt.
The forward collision-avoidance assist uses a radar sensor to monitor the distance from the vehicle ahead to alert the driver when it anticipates a collision and automatically hits the brakes in emergency situations.
He hits the brakes, jolting us to a slower speed, and now I'm frantic, looking ahead to see what we'll crash into, how our lives are about to end.
The film accelerates into top gear within the first 20 minutes and never once hits the brakes, screeching from one action sequence to the next.