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put the brakes on

This page is about the idiom put the brakes on


If you put the brakes on something, you stop it or slow it down.

For example

  • Many companies are putting the brakes on new investment until the economy improves.

  • The government has to put the brakes on the water treatment project until the corruption enquiry is over.

Origin: This metaphorical idiom is based on the fact that if you're driving a car and you "put the brakes on", the car slows down and stops.

Quick Quiz

The United Nations will have to put the brakes on some important programs unless it can

a. find more money

b. waste more money

c. print more money
a) find more money b) waste more money c) print more money

See Idiom of the Day today

Contributor: Matt Errey