stop short of doing

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 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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References in periodicals archive ?
All of them - even those that claim to oppose a no-deal Brexit - would stop short of doing anything that would put the national interest ahead of their party's.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority on Tuesday proposed requiring utilities to implement detailed measures to protect their nuclear power plants from tsunami in a revision of current guidelines that stop short of doing so.
But Ankara is likely to stop short of doing anything to alienate Washington, said Fadi Hakura, a Turkey expert at Chatham House.
I can see why people in town tire of being told what to do by people who stop short of doing it themselves.