pull up short

Definition of pull up short

:to suddenly stop what one is doing
  • I had to slam on the brakes when the car in front of me pulled up short.
  • He began to answer her question and then pulled up short.

Word by Word Definitions

up play
  1. : in or into a higher position or level

  2. : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  3. : from below the horizon

  1. : risen above the horizon

  2. : standing

  3. : being out of bed

  1. used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

  2. : up into or in the

  3. : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. : one in a high or advantageous position

  2. : an upward slope

  3. : a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. : to rise from a lying or sitting position

  2. : to move upward : ascend

  3. used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated

short play
  1. : having little length

  2. : not tall or high : low

  3. : not extended in time : brief

  1. : in a curt manner

  2. : for or during a brief time

  3. : at a disadvantage : unawares

  1. : the sum and substance : upshot

  2. : a short syllable

  3. : a short sound or signal

  1. : short-circuit

  2. : shortchange, cheat

  3. : to sell (a security) short in expectation of a fall in prices


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