stem the tide, to

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.
See also: stem, tide
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]
See also: stem, tide
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 tide

or

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.
See also: stem, tide
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.
See also: stem, tide
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.”
See also: stem
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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