nip in the bud
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Related to nip in the bud: without a hitch
nip (something) in the bud
To stop, cease, or prevent something at the beginning or early phase, before it becomes too difficult or unmanageable. I've noticed that Tommy's getting in the bad habit of chewing with is mouth open. Let's nip that in the bud. Why don't you nip the issue in the bud before it starts affecting the entire user base?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
nip something in the bud
Fig. to put an end to something before it develops into something larger. (Alludes to destroying a flower bud before it blooms.) I wanted to nip that little romance in the bud. The whole idea was nipped in the bud.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
nip in the bud
Halt something at an early stage, or thoroughly check something. For example, By arresting all the leaders, they nipped the rebellion in the bud. This metaphoric expression, alluding to a spring frost that kills flower buds, was first recorded in a Beaumont and Fletcher play of 1606-1607.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
nip in the bud, to
To stop something before it can develop further. This analogy to an early spring frost that kills off flower buds dates from the sixteenth century. Sir Boyle Roche (1743–1807), a member of Parliament, was quoted in this memorable mixed metaphor: “Mr. Speaker, I smell a rat; I see him forming in the air and darkening the sky; but I’ll nip him in the bud.”
See also: nip
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer