stop short(redirected from stopping short)
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To abruptly stop doing something. The sudden blaring of the alarm caused me to stop short on my way down the hall.
1. Also, stop one short. Check abruptly, as in When we tried to cross the street, the barrier stopped us short. [Early 1300s]
2. Cause someone to stop speaking, as in I was about to tell them the date when my father stopped me short. [Late 1800s]
3. stop short of. Not go so far as to do or say something. For example, He may embroider the truth but he stops short of actually lying. This usage was first recorded in 1818.
1 (also stop somebody short) suddenly stop doing something or make somebody stop somebody doing something: When I read how many people had died, I stopped short and stared in disbelief at the newspaper.
2 (stop short of something/of doing something)nearly but not actually do something, for example because you are afraid or you think it is a bad idea: The manager told her that he was unhappy with her work, but he stopped short of dismissing her from her job.