nip (something) in the bud

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of nip (something) in the bud

informal
: to stop (something) immediately so that it does not become a worse problem
  • Inflation will only get worse if the government doesn't do something right now to nip it in the bud.

Word by Word Definitions

nip play
  1. : to catch hold of and squeeze tightly between two surfaces, edges, or points : pinch, bite

  2. : to pinch in (a garment)

  3. : to sever by or as if by pinching sharply

  1. : something that nips: such as

  2. : a sharp biting comment

  3. : a sharp stinging cold

  1. : a small quantity of liquor : sip

  1. : to take liquor in nips : tipple

something play
  1. : some indeterminate or unspecified thing

  2. : some indeterminate amount more than a specified number

  3. : a person or thing of consequence

  1. : in some degree : somewhat

  2. used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective

bud play
  1. : a small lateral or terminal protuberance on the stem of a plant that may develop into a flower, leaf, or shoot

  2. : something not yet mature or at full development: such as

  3. : an incompletely opened flower

  1. : to set or put forth buds

  2. : to commence growth from buds

  3. : to grow or develop from or as if from a bud


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