stem the tide(redirected from stem the flow)
stem the tide
To stop something from continuing or worsening. Once the people turn on you, you'll have a hard time stemming the tide of rebellion.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
stem the tide
Stop the course of a trend or tendency, as in It is not easy to stem the tide of public opinion. This idiom uses stem in the sense of "stop" or "restrain." [Mid-1800s]
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.
stem the tideor
stem the flow
COMMON If you stem the tide or stem the flow of something bad which is happening to a large degree, you start to control and stop it. The authorities seem powerless to stem the rising tide of violence. The cut in interest rates has done nothing to stem the flow of job losses.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
ˌstem the ˈtide (of something)stop the large increase of something bad: The police are unable to stem the rising tide of crime.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
stem the tide, to
To stop the course of a trend, opinion, or the like. The verb to stem, meaning to stop or restrain, comes from the Old Norse word stemma, meaning “to dam.” It would take an enormous dam to stop ocean tides, but the tide of public opinion, for example, can be checked or diverted. Thus Fred A. Paley wrote (The Tragedies of Aeschylus, 1855), “Aristophanes evidently saw the tide . . . and he vainly tried to stem it by the barrier of his ridicule.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer