shut the stable door after the horse has bolted


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shut the stable door after the horse has bolted

To try to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. It isn't worth replacing the oil filter on the engine now—you can't shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.
See also: after, bolt, door, horse, shut, stable
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

 and Lock the stable door after the horse is stolen.
Prov. To try to prevent something that has already happened; to act too late. When Ray heard that the bank had failed, he tried to withdraw his money, but there was no money to withdraw. He was shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. Jenny has stopped smoking since the doctor told her that her lungs were in bad shape, but I'm afraid she's locking the stable door after the horse is stolen.
See also: after, bolt, door, horse, shut, stable
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

shut (or lock) the stable door after the horse has bolted

try to avoid or prevent something bad or unwelcome when it is already too late to do so. proverb
This saying dates back to medieval times. Until the late 19th century it was used in the form shut the stable door after the steed is stolen .
See also: after, bolt, door, horse, shut, stable
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

shut/lock/close the stable door after the horse has ˈbolted

(British English) (American English shut, etc. the barn door after the horse has eˈscaped) take action to prevent something bad from happening after it has already happened: Last week all their silver was stolen; this week they’re putting in a burglar alarm! That’s really shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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