stop short of (doing something)

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stop short of (doing something)

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, though, deciding to wait and see what the foreign leader would do next.
See also: of, 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