come to a grinding halt

(redirected from they came to a grinding halt)

come to a grinding halt

To halt progression very abruptly, especially in an ultimately detrimental or undesirable manner. Likened to a machine or automobile that stops functioning due to the grinding of gears. Things had been going well with the new project, but when our manager was fired, everything came to a grinding halt. Work on the tax legislation has come to a grinding halt in Congress.
See also: come, grind, halt, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come to a grinding/screeching halt

Stop suddenly. Referring to the noise made by gears or brakes during a sudden stop, these phrases date from the second half of the 1900s. The National Observer of December 4, 1976, had: “A lot of that stuff is going to come to a screeching halt quickly, and we’re not going to do the screeching.” It is also put as grind to a halt.
See also: come, grind, halt, screech, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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