put the cart before the horse

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put the cart before the horse

To do things out of the proper order. Starting the fundraiser before we know how much we need is putting the cart before the horse.
See also: before, cart, horse, put
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put the cart before the horse

Fig. to have things in the wrong order; to have things confused and mixed up. (Also with have.) You're eating your dessert first! You've put the cart before the horse. John has the cart before the horse in most of his projects.
See also: before, cart, horse, put
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cart before the horse, put the

Reverse the proper order of things or events, as in Don't put the cart before the horse and give away the punch line. This expression has been used since antiquity but was first recorded in English in 1520.
See also: before, cart, put
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.

put the cart before the horse

If you put the cart before the horse, you do things in the wrong order. Creating large numbers of schools before we've improved school management is putting the cart before the horse. Let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's actually find out what the problem is before we try to solve it. Note: Cart and horse are also used in many other structures and expressions with a similar meaning. They want to go down the road with the cart before the horse and spend the money before they have made it. These kids are encouraged to compete before they actually have the skills to win. We've got ourselves a cart-before-the-horse situation.
See also: before, cart, horse, put
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

put the cart before the horse

reverse the proper order or procedure of something.
A medieval version of this expression was set the oxen before the yoke . The version with horse and cart dates from the early 16th century.
1998 Spectator It's putting the cart before the horse. All history shows that if you want to create a political union, you do that first and the single currency follows.
See also: before, cart, horse, put
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put the ˌcart before the ˈhorse

put or do things in the wrong order: Don’t plan the menu before deciding how many people to invite — it’s like putting the cart before the horse.
See also: before, cart, horse, put
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
(Erwin Knoll bet me $50 and gave me 100-to-1 odds that Nader would not win the Presidency, and I was foolish enough to take him up on it.) And Reed has a point when he says a third-party or independent Presidential challenge from the left in 1996 is "putting the cart before the horse." Certainly, we don't have the popular base right now to win - or even come close to winning - the Presidency.
Looks like our lawmakers are putting the cart before the horse again.
This issue can be likened to putting the cart before the horse' he said
Kirklees Council was accused of putting the cart before the horse by calling on the public to suggest names for the road into the site before any plan has been approved.
This is a good example of putting the cart before the horse. Manufacturers need to develop batteries that can go for hundreds of miles between charges and engine manufacturers need to develop cleaner diesel engines for heavy goods vehicles as it now be far too costly to replace diesel engines with petrol.
We're putting the cart before the horse. This is the first part of the process, he said.
All very laudable I'm sure, but aren't we in danger of putting the cart before the horse? The place is filthy!
If ever there was a case of putting the cart before the horse, this is it.
Can I suggest that she is putting the cart before the horse by asking shoppers to change their habits.
"Following Covanta's recent attempts to amend their plans at the eleventh hour, local residents will be forgiven for feeling that the company is putting the cart before the horse."
He said yesterday it would be "putting the cart before the horse," to say whether he planned on leaving the City Council.
"A lot of people have been there for 20-plus years." Maureen Pugh, who has a daughter at Collingwood, said: "You need to think really hard what decision you are going to make." And the leader of the Labour opposition, Coun Albert Bore, said the council was "putting the cart before the horse".
The city council's Tory-run Cabinet was accused of "putting the cart before the horse" by Socialist leader Dave Nellist when they voted to pursue the PFI option.
The demand that congestion charging is implemented before any funding is available is putting the cart before the horse.
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