stop something in its tracks

stop (someone or something) (dead) in its/(one's) tracks

To make someone or something stop or come to a complete halt immediately or very suddenly. Hearing the gunshot in the distance stopped us both dead in our tracks. Boy, Samantha could stop you in her tracks with her smile!
See also: stop, track

stop something in its tracks

or

stop something dead in its tracks

COMMON If someone or something stops a process or activity in its tracks or stops it dead in its tracks, they make it immediately stop continuing or developing. Francis felt he would like to stop this conversation in its tracks. These job losses could stop Britain's economic revival dead in its tracks.
See also: something, stop, track