stop short of (something)

stop short of (something)

1. To cease moving before reaching something or some place. The golf ball stopped just short of the hole. The van skidded on the ice, but it thankfully stopped short of the cars in front of it.
2. To almost or partially do something but stop before going through with or completing it. She told him how much she cared for him, but stopped short of saying "I love you." The president stopped short of declaring war, deciding to wait and see what the foreign leader would do next.
See also: of, short, stop
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

stop short of a place

not to go as far as something. The bus stopped short of the end of the road. The speeding car stopped short of the sidewalk where children were playing.
See also: of, place, short, stop

stop short of doing something

not to go as far as doing something. Fortunately Bob stopped short of hitting Tom. The boss criticized Jane's work but stopped short of firing her. Jack was furious but stopped short of hitting Tom.
See also: of, short, stop
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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