put on the brakes

put on the brakes

To slow down, impede, or stop one's activity or progress. We had to put on the brakes when we found out investors were pulling out of the company. I think the government should put on the brakes in regards to its spending, or it's going to find itself in insurmountable debt.
See also: brake, on, put
References in classic literature ?
Another thing, they scarcely ever put on the brake, however steep the downhill may be, and thus bad accidents sometimes happen; or if they do put it on, they often forget to take it off at the bottom of the hill, and more than once I have had to pull halfway up the next hill, with one of the wheels held by the brake, before my driver chose to think about it; and that is a terrible strain on a horse.