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stop short

Also,stop one short. Check abruptly, as in When we tried to cross the street, the barrier stopped us short. [ Early 1300s ]
Cause someone to stop speaking, as in I was about to tell them the date when my father stopped me short. [ Late 1800s ]
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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • But all at once an unexpected spectacle made him stop short.

  • You stop short, and swallow hard, and saunter into camp as one indifferent.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • What right have we, His servants, to stop short of full obedience?

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • A glance at her face caused him to stop short and look at her.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • This he should know; the other powers he must have, or stop short of his full efficiency.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • But I must stop short, or else this letter will be all preface.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler
  • She'll not stop short with him, and how do I know what he'll do?

    Blue-grass and Broadway Maria Thompson Daviess

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