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cleanse the Augean stables

To rid a place or entity of a massive or entrenched accumulation of something (often corruption). In Greek mythology, Heracles (Hercules) was tasked with cleansing the Augean stables—which had not been cleaned in 30 years. The local government is utterly mired in corruption and abuse, so I'm skeptical when some new elected official claims they're going to come in and cleanse the Augean stables.
See also: Augean, cleanse, stable

cleanse the Augean stables of (something)

To rid a place or entity of an accumulation of something (often corruption). In Greek mythology, Hercules was tasked with cleansing the Augean stables, which had not been cleaned in 30 years. When he was elected, he pledged to cleanse the Augean stables of the corruption and abuse that has plagued the local government for decades.
See also: Augean, cleanse, of, stable

clear the Augean stables

To rid a place or entity of a massive or entrenched accumulation of something (often corruption). In Greek mythology, Heracles (Hercules) was tasked with cleansing the Augean stables—which had not been cleaned in 30 years. The local government is utterly mired in corruption and abuse, so I'm skeptical when some new elected official claims they're going to come in and clear the Augean stables.
See also: Augean, clear, stable

clear the Augean stables of (something)

To rid a place or entity of a massive or entrenched accumulation of something (often corruption). In Greek mythology, Hercules was tasked with cleansing the Augean stables, which had not been cleaned in 30 years. When he was elected, he pledged to clear the Augean stables of the corruption and abuse that has plagued the local government for decades.
See also: Augean, clear, of, stable

close 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 close the stable door after the horse has bolted.
See also: after, bolt, close, door, horse, stable

closing the stable door after the horse has bolted

Trying to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. If you try to replace the oil filter on the engine now, you're just closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

lock the barn door after the horse has bolted

To try to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. My father quit smoking after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, but I'm afraid he's locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.
See also: after, barn, bolt, door, horse, lock

lock the barn door after the horse is stolen

To try to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. My father quit smoking after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, but I'm afraid he's locking the barn door after the horse is stolen.
See also: after, barn, door, horse, lock, stolen

lock the stable door after the horse has bolted

To try to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. My father quit smoking after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, but I'm afraid he's locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.
See also: after, bolt, door, horse, lock, stable

lock the stable door after the horse is stolen

To try to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. My father quit smoking after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, but I'm afraid he's locking the stable door after the horse is stolen.
See also: after, door, horse, lock, stable, stolen

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.

lock the barn door after the horse has bolted

Also, lock the stable door after the horse is stolen. Take precautions after damage has occurred. For example, After the burglary they installed an alarm system, but it's locking the barn door, or Deciding to negotiate now after they've been fired-that's a matter of locking the stable door after the horse is stolen . These expressions of action that is useless because it comes too late have long been proverbs in many languages and first appeared in English in the mid-1300s.
See also: after, barn, bolt, door, horse, lock
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.

close the stable door after the horse has bolted

BRITISH or

close the barn door after the horse has bolted

AMERICAN
If someone's action is closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, it is too late because the thing it is designed to prevent has already happened. It is nice to see the water company offering a reward to catch the fish killers, even though it might look like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. People have been complaining about a strong smell of gas for seven years. This is closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Note: This expression is often varied. For instance, you can use shut instead of close, and words such as gone or escaped instead of bolted. The children should have been vaccinated earlier. It seems like they are shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Note: People sometimes just say close the stable door or close the barn door. Journalists exposed the fraud, since when the regulators have been scuttling to close the stable door.
See also: after, bolt, close, door, horse, stable
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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

lock the barn/stable door after the horse has bolted/is stolen, to

To take precautions after damage has been done. This proverb, found in many languages, first appeared in a French collection of ca. 1190 and found its way into a Middle English manuscript, Douce MS, by about 1350. It has been repeated ever since. Stanley Walker poked fun at it (The Uncanny Knacks of Mr. Doherty, 1941): “He locked the stable door while they were putting the cart before the horse.”
See also: after, barn, bolt, door, horse, lock, stable, to

shut the stable door

See lock the barn door.
See also: door, shut, stable
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
If there is enough interest, sometimes it is just a question of time when will some tools become more quality and stableness than their commercial alternatives.
There is hardly any attempt, in his narrative, to root/route his diasporan self in the stableness of "Black Atlantic" identifications (as, for instance, Peter Abrahams does in Tell Freedom of 1954), so that what we are left with is the old, inverted stable identity of the Enlightenment Personality as autobiographer.
"I certainly think the last two weeks have failed the test of stableness or orderliness.
Anyway, decided it might be a good idea to retire the old relatively worthless rifle cradle I've used for years and invest in one known for its reliability, stableness and one more user-friendly.
Arguably the most important thing American Publishing brings to the Times is some stableness after a long period of uncertainty.
To insure the flow stableness, the pipe length is set to be 5 times as long as the pipe diameter.