nip it in the bud
Meaning: If you nip something in the bud, you stop a problem from becoming serious by dealing with it as soon as you notice it.
- Alan has a serious weight problem. Now he wishes he'd nipped it in the bud by eating less and exercising more when he was first starting to put on weight.
- I was starting to drink too much alcohol, so I nipped it in the bud and stopped drinking altogether before it became a serious problem.
Jules and Clive were starting to have problems in their marriage, so they decided to nip the problem in the bud and