Definition of shut (or bolt) the stable door after the horse has bolted in US English:

shut (or bolt) the stable door after the horse has bolted

phrase

British
  • Try to avert something bad or unwelcome when it is already too late to do so.

    • ‘He has decided now that there will be an internal review and an overhaul of the procedures, but he's just shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.’
    • ‘It may be a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but given the very real sense of injustice felt an explanation from the powers that be is the very least that City and its fans deserve.’
    • ‘The only samples frozen indefinitely are the ones that have already tested positive - a classic case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.’
    • ‘Installing a proper system for checking that illegal meat is not imported might be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.’
    • ‘The birth of the ‘How's my driving’ sticker trend is a demonstration that the company cares how its employees behave on the open road, but could be criticised as shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.’
    • ‘The epithet about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted came immediately to mind when it was announced that the Jockey Club are to ban horse owners, trainers and their staff from laying their horses on betting exchanges.’
    • ‘The problem is, the Greenies point out, that there shouldn't really be any field trials at all until full and stringent regulations are in place, otherwise it will be like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.’
    • ‘He said: ‘At the moment, we're not allowed to close footpaths until we get swine fever, which really is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.’’
    • ‘Under current legislation, an invasive species can only make the list of those which are illegal to release if it is proved to cause damage - a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.’
    • ‘It is called shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted and not having the moral courage to admit they are wrong.’