head off (2)

Meaning: to stop something bad from happening

Synonym: prevent

For example:

  • head off sth The two countries are in talks at the moment in an attempt to head off a trade war.

  • head off sth We need to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions in order to head off the global warming crisis.

Nouns often used as objects with head off (2): problem, conflict, war, fight, recession, failure, illness

Quick Quiz:

The fans of the two rival clubs were getting too close to each other, so the police decided to head off what could be a violent clash by

a. forcing them together

b. keeping them apart

c. giving them weapons

Phrasal verbs grammar

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Contributor: Matt Errey