Idioms

    pull out all the stops,
    1. to use every means available.
    2. to express, do, or carry out something without reservation.

Origin of stop

before 1000; Middle English stoppen (v.), Old English -stoppian (in forstoppian to stop up); cognate with Dutch, Low German stoppen, German stopfen; all ≪ Vulgar Latin *stuppāre to plug with oakum, derivative of Latin stuppa coarse hemp or flax < Greek stýppē

Related forms

stop·less, adjectivestop·less·ness, nounmul·ti·stop, adjective

Synonym study

3. Stop, arrest, check, halt imply causing a cessation of movement or progress (literal or figurative). Stop is the general term for the idea: to stop a clock. Arrest usually refers to stopping by imposing a sudden and complete restraint: to arrest development. Check implies bringing about an abrupt, partial, or temporary stop: to check a trotting horse. To halt means to make a temporary stop, especially one resulting from a command: to halt a company of soldiers.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pull out all the stops

stop

/ (stɒp) /

verb stops, stopping or stopped


noun

Derived Forms

stoppable, adjective

Word Origin for stop

C14: from Old English stoppian (unattested), as in forstoppian to plug the ear, ultimately from Late Latin stuppāre to stop with a tow, from Latin stuppa tow, from Greek stuppē
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with pull out all the stops (1 of 2)

pull out all the stops

Use all the resources or force at one's disposal, as in The police pulled out all the stops to find the thief. This term comes from organ-playing, where it means “bring into play every rank of pipes,” thereby creating the fullest possible sound. It has been used figuratively since about 1860.


Idioms and Phrases with pull out all the stops (2 of 2)

stop

In addition to the idioms beginning with stop

  • stop at nothing
  • stop by
  • stop cold
  • stop in
  • stop off
  • stop payment
  • stop short
  • stop someone's clock
  • stop the clock
  • stop up

also see:

  • buck stops here
  • pull out all the stops
  • put an end (a stop) to

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.