pull up short

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.

pull (one) up short

To cause one to abruptly stop doing something. The sudden blaring of the alarm pulled me up short on my way down the hall. News of the reduction in funding pulled our researchers up short.
See also: pull, short, up

pull someone up short

to cause someone to stop short. My scream pulled him up short. The sudden thought that everything might not be all right pulled Tom up short.
See also: pull, short, up

bring/pull somebody up ˈshort

make somebody stop what they are doing because something attracts their attention or because they suddenly realize something: His criticism of my work pulled me up short, because I thought he was pleased with it.
See also: bring, pull, short, somebody, up