stop short of a place

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

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