stem the tide

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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


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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
(the land of the West Saxons), which had now taken first place among the Anglo-Saxon states, stemmed the tide of invasion and by ceding to the
As a result, she changed the California political landscape forever with her pivotal role in working to pass Proposition 187, which would have stemmed the tide of illegal immigration in California had not an activist liberal judge nullified it.
Southend stemmed the tide just before half time when Robert Bragg stole in with a late run to make it 2-1.
After an even dodgier start to Championship life than a Britney or J-Lo marriage, Rangers have temporarily stemmed the tide with wins against Crewe (currently fourth-bottom), Brighton (fifth-bottom) and Gillingham (sixth-bottom).
Edinburgh stemmed the tide through Canadia trialist Michael Pyke.
Even more miraculously, through his physical and spiritual healing touch, Jesus stemmed the tide of impurity and actually spread cleanliness!
Vale finally got the goal they deserved in the 63rd minute just as Brentford appeared to have stemmed the tide.
TONY Blair last night cleared the final p oliticalhurdle to war as he stemmed the tide of a predicted massivebackbench rebellion.
Mark: True, but it doesn't seem to have stemmed the tide of new players coming into the storage space.
A 9-2 run at the start of the third period stemmed the tide but the Leopards were in no mood to let the Bullets back into the game and led by Rico Alderson's 20 points, they surged into their biggest lead of the night, at 89-58.
ISAAC ENGLISH stemmed the tide of trauma for Coleraine manager Kenny Shiels with a late equaliser at The Showgrounds.
Henman broke the feared Roddick serve in the opening game of the match and played sublime tennis for five games before the American stemmed the tide of free-flowing winners.
Following Taylor's departure, Chris Lewis grabbed two wickets but a Bevan and James Kirtley stemmed the tide with an eighth-wicket stand of 118.
But raising the minimum balance from pounds 100 to pounds 2,500 stemmed the tide.